Nottingham City Council, One Nottingham and Small Steps Big Changes are leading the city towards international recognition as a UNICEF Child Friendly City.

In a broad based local partnership programme Nottingham will see children’s rights put into practice in the city over the next three-to-five-years, as part of the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) Child Friendly Cities and Communities programme. Our partners will work towards 7 goals, four of which were decided by the city’s children and young people. The goals are represented by badges. The badges chosen after consultation with over 9,000 of the city’s children and young people are:

  • Safe and Secure
  • Education and Learning
  • Healthy
  • Equal and Included

These priorities, or badges, are in addition to the three mandatory areas that UNICEF UK asks all partners to work towards:

  • Culture
  • Cooperation and Leadership
  • Communication

Over the next few years, the council and its partners will use children’s rights to achieve meaningful change for children in these seven badges.

Progress will be reviewed by an independent panel of experts in human rights, child wellbeing and public services, as well as an advisory board of local children and young people. If Nottingham can demonstrate significant and sustainable progress in all seven at the end of its partnership with UNICEF UK, it will be recognised as a UNICEF  Child Friendly City

This morning schools across Nottingham will be using Children’s Rights as a theme for their assemblies.

This afternoon, children and young people will come together with councillors and representatives from organisations across the city to celebrate the next step of the city’s journey and to launch the Child Friendly Nottingham website

Those attending will be invited to join in activities based on the seven badges and to talk to representatives from partner organisations.

The Nottingham charity Small Steps Big Changes (SSBC) is supporting the initial administration and set up costs of Nottingham Child Friendly City, with financial support from the National Lottery Community Fund’s ‘A Better Start’ programme.

This has provided a great opportunity for us to build on work already started with some of our youngest children, in some of our most diverse communities.

We encourage organisations to make a child rights-based approach part of their plans and delivery of their services. By taking a strategic view, organisations can include how to be Child Friendly in their normal budgeting and planning.

Cllr Cheryl Barnard, Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Education at Nottingham City Council, said:

“It is vital that we put children at the heart of decisions we make as a council. I’m proud that we have consulted with more than 3,000 young people as part of our commitment to becoming a Child Friendly City – and even more proud of the valuable and meaningful contributions they have made. They have been clear on what they would like to change and improve in their city. This will help us to develop our Children’s Rights approach to make sure their views are increasingly embedded in the city in the next three years. I expect young people to continue providing us with their views as we move forward.”

Karla Capstick, Programme Director, Small Steps Big Changes said:

‘For the last nine years Small Steps Big Changes has been working to improve the lives of families, babies and young children in Nottingham, the opportunity, therefore, to support our city to become a UNICEF accredited Child Friendly City is something we are immensely proud and pleased to be able to do.  We know the importance of listening to communities, so as the SSBC programme draws to a close, we see this initiative as an important part of the legacy we leave behind for future generations of Nottingham children.’

Naomi Danquah, Child Friendly Cities & Communities Programme Director UNICEF UK said:

“We are delighted to welcome Nottingham City Council and their partners to the next stage of their Child friendly Cities & Communities programme.

“This partnership represents a bold commitment from Nottingham City Council and their partners to put children’s rights at the heart of everything they do – from early conversations around children’s spaces and services in Nottingham, to the day-to-day running of those services.

“We’re excited to see this partnership make a real and lasting difference to children’s lives in Nottingham.”

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) raises funds for UNICEF’s emergency and development work for children. We also promote and protect children’s rights in the UK and internationally. We are a UK charity, entirely funded by supporters.

United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK), Registered Charity No. 1072612 (England & Wales), SC043677 (Scotland).

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About UNICEF Child Friendly Cities and Communities

Child Friendly Cities and Communities is a UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) programme that works with councils to put children’s rights into practice.

The programme aims to create cities and communities in the UK where all children – whether they are living in care, using a children’s centre, or simply visiting their local library – have a meaningful say in, and truly benefit from, the local decision, services and spaces that shape their lives.

The programme is part of Child Friendly Cities – a global UNICEF initiative launched in 1996 that reach more than 30 million children in over 40 countries.

 In the UK, we provide training based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and support councils, their partners, and children and young people, as they work together on an ambitious three to five year journey towards international recognition as a UNICEF Child Friendly City or Community.

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