Empowering pledges mark the launch of Redbridge’s journey to gain ‘Child Friendly Status’

Published: 3 October 2019

A series of pledges promising to empower and give a voice to the young is set to launch Redbridge’s journey to becoming an internationally recognised child friendly borough.

Redbridge partnered with global children’s charity Unicef to roll out Child Friendly Redbridge – a borough wide programme which will pave the way towards gaining the charity’s widely recognised ‘Child Friendly’ accreditation.

The programme is being launched on Friday 4 October with a series of pledges being made across the borough focusing on the rights and welfare of children.

Deputy Leader of the Council Cllr Kam Rai, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People Cllr Elaine Norman and Unicef staff will be joined by children and young people from the borough to make pledges in five different locations - John Bramston School, Mill Grove, New City College- Redbridge, Frenfords and Lab Central, Redbridge Central Library.

The pledges form the foundation for achieving Unicef’s ‘Child Friendly’ borough accreditation and focus on:

  1. Children’s views being respected and heard
  2. Ensuring both family and community play a part in creating Child Friendly Redbridge
  3. Giving the borough’s children and young people the best opportunities for education and work
  4. Ensuring children in Redbridge are given the best start in life
  5. Empowering and giving the borough’s children and young people their say in the decisions that affect them

Specially branded buses will also be touring the borough throughout the day to help raise awareness and support for the Child Friendly Redbridge programme, as well as provide information on how the community can get involved.

The first phase of the programme will focus on engaging with children and young people to understand what life is like in the borough for them and what is important to them.

During the three to five-year journey to achieve Unicef’s much coveted ‘Child Friendly’ status, the borough will be working closely with many partners to ensure children are given a decisive voice in the way the council and its partners make decisions, and embed children’s rights into the authority’s governance, policy and practice.

The aim is for Redbridge to become a borough where children not only understand their rights but one where they also feel they have the ability and influence to shape services affecting them.

Cabinet Member for Children and Young People Cllr Elaine Norman said: “We want Redbridge to be a great place for families of all kinds. The borough already has a lot to offer – from high educational attainment and good children’s services through to green space and strong communities.

“By working towards our ‘Child Friendly’ status we will continue to build on our commitment to ensuring the voices, needs and rights of children and young people form a fundamental part of our policies, services and decisions.”

Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Kam Rai added: “We have chosen to work towards gaining child friendly accreditation to demonstrate our commitment to deliver the best possible universal opportunities for our children, regardless of their background.”

Naomi Danquah, Programme Director, Child Friendly Cities & Communities, said: “We are delighted to welcome Redbridge to the Child Friendly Cities & Communities Programme.

“These are challenging times for local authorities, but this partnership represents a bold commitment from the Borough Council and their partners to put children’s rights at the heart of everything they do – with one of the fastest population growths in the country, it’s essential that Redbridge’s children and young people are given the opportunity to influence decision-making and change.

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

The ‘Child Friendly’ borough status is driven by The Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) - a UNICEF led initiative that supports councils in realising the rights of children using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as its foundation.

If you would like to get involved or find out more information please visit: https://www.redbridge.gov.uk/childfriendly/child-friendly-redbridge/

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