A UNICEF Child-Friendly Redbridge moves another step closer

Published: 22 December 2021

The next stage for Redbridge to become a fully accreted UNICEF Child-Friendly borough by 2025 comes to a step closer.

Children and young people met with Redbridge councillors at a Cabinet meeting this week (Tuesday 21 December) to get approval for theChild-Friendly Redbridge Action Plan, which they have been working on during the summer holidays.

Children and young people spent the summer holidays discussing with members of the Child-Friendly Redbridge Partnership what changes and priorities were important to them and how they want to see their ideas come to life.

In February 2021, UNICEF asked the youngsters and children in Redbridge to vote for themes (or “badges”) that are most important to them. The badges they voted for were: Safe and Secure, Healthy and Place, which includes having more positive things to do and taking care of the environment.

Councillor Elaine Norman, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said:

“I am proud to see how far we have come on our journey towards this vision of a child-friendly borough becoming a reality.

“During the development of this Action Plan, I have seen the great progress that we have already made in the borough in giving children and young people the platforms and confidence to voice their opinions.

“The Child-Friendly Redbridge Partnership’s active listening to young people’s voices when they shared their views with us has influenced every decision made so far and all the content of this Action Plan.

“I have seen first-hand the impact that young people can have in changing and improving the lives of other young people in Redbridge.

“Our young advocates are dedicated to building a present-day Redbridge that fits their needs and their peers.

"It is our duty to them that we commit to the action points set out in this document to guarantee that the future Redbridge is a borough in which they and the generations that succeed them deserve to grow up.”

The Child-Friendly Redbridge Ambassadors, from across the borough’s schools, will be working to launch the plan in Spring 2022 and make sure that children and young people across the borough know what the Council and Partnership have committed to.

Since the UNICEF UK programme’s launch in October 2019, the Child-Friendly Redbridge Partnership, which comprises partners from across Redbridge has been listening to children and young people of all ages to learn what life in the borough is like for them and to understand what their most pressing issues are.

The approval of the Action Plan takes the Child-Friendly Redbridge into its next phase, which is the delivery of the programme.

This will last two to three years with UNICEF UK supporting the partnership to deliver against the plan and help to monitor how effective the actions in the plan are in delivering improvements in the lives of children and young people in Redbridge.


Yusuf, a Child-Friendly Redbridge Youth Ambassador said:

“I got involved as UNICEF Child-Friendly Redbridge Ambassador because I believe young people deserve to grow up in an environment that lets us aim high and achieve our goals by reaching our potential.

“It is important to us that the council embeds commitment to our rights in every decision it makes.

“Children and young people need and deserve a voice. You won’t hear us unless you listen to us. We need to be included in important conversations”


Maddeline, a Child-Friendly Redbridge Youth Ambassador said:

“We have told you which issues we want to tackle. We, the young people are best qualified to decide on the solutions to problems that affect us.

"By getting involved with UNICEF and Redbridge Council, we want to give our input on decision-making and rolling out new initiatives. We hope that this will let us do something about the issues we care about the most.”

Irfan Shah from Frenford Youth Club said: 

"Being part of the Child-Friendly programme through UNICEF provides an opportunity for all organisations in Redbridge to look and reassess the work they do with young people, not just the local authority.

"Coming together to create a safer and more vibrant borough will give children a good start to life."

A member of the Children in Care Council said:

“It’s good to know that children and young people matter to Redbridge and that they will ensure changes are for the better”

Lesley Perry, Partnership Manager for the Redbridge Safeguarding Children Partnership said:

“The Redbridge Safeguarding Children Partnership are pleased to be part of the development of Redbridge as a child-friendly borough and that ‘safe and secure’ as chosen by young people, is a priority strand of the work.

“The Partnership champions the ‘voice of the child’ and believes that it should be fundamental to decision making, resourcing and planning in Redbridge.”


You can stay up to date with all things Child-Friendly Redbridge by following the council on Twitter @RedbridgeLive and our Instagram page @RedbridgeYouth.

See our Child-Friendly Redbridge Ambassadors

Read the Child-Friendly Redbridge Action Plan

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