The voting for the next Leeds Children’s Mayor is now open. Children and young people up to 18 years old who live and/or go to school in Leeds have until 5pm on 26 September 2022 to cast their vote. Each young person can vote for their two favourite manifestos.
The newly elected Children’s Mayor will then be announced by the Lord Mayor of Leeds at a civic reception event on Thursday 6 October 2022.
The Children’s Mayor Programme helps children in the city develop a greater understanding of democracy and the importance of voting, as well as encouraging them to think about the role they could play in improving their city or communities.
Each year, pupils from year 5 are asked to write a short manifesto including an idea for how they would make Leeds an even better city for young people. Primary schools can submit one candidate each, who are then shortlisted down to a final 12 by a panel of young people.
Zulaykha Hussain, from Bardsey Primary, is the 2021/22 Leeds Children’s Mayor and is nearing the end of her term. She recently held a ‘Togetherness Event’ at her school as part of her impressive winning manifesto that emphasised the impact that COVID-19 had on children, young people and their families. The event provided families with the opportunity to remember loved ones who sadly lost their lives as a result of the pandemic. It brought people together to share happy memories and enabled them to leave a lasting memory through the means of a permanent mural. MindMate supported the event and an impressive £750 was raised.
This year’s 12 finalists are:
|School||Entrant||Summary of idea|
|The Grammar School at Leeds||Alfie||Create a free app called ‘buddy up’ that matches people to a volunteer to help with loneliness.|
|Lady Elizabeth Hastings Primary School||Belle||Schools will work in partnership with charities to create ‘chat and chill zones’ to support good mental health.|
|Southroyd Primary||Lauren||Create a city-wide uniform exchange programme to help with the cost of living crisis.|
|Middleton Primary||Gideon||Create a recycling competition called ‘Operation Save Green’ where recycling is used to create something new and help the environment.|
|Temple Newsam Halton Primary||Nancy||Create free sports clubs, educate people on healthy eating and work with local businesses to help fundraise to buy new sports equipment.|
|Bankside Primary||Zaigham||Raise awareness of being more energy efficient to help reduce CO2 emissions and combat the rising cost of living.|
|St Patricks Catholic Primary||Shanelle||Create a mental health support programme called ‘Revive Leeds’ to combat loneliness and isolation through social activities and clubs.|
|Great Preston CE Primary||Harriet||Support children with mental health as a result of the pandemic through a city wide pen pal programme and sporting activities.|
|Harehills Primary||Hafsa||Raise awareness of how pollution is damaging the environment and health through a ‘Pollution Pause Day’.|
|Horsforth Newlaithes Primary||Lucy||Raise awareness of the effects of the cost of living crisis on families through events across the city.|
|Primrose Lane Primary||Flynn||Create ‘A Day to Play’ event in schools where you are encouraged to work and play with others you wouldn’t normally play with to help with loneliness.|
|John Jamieson East SILC||Mason||Create a ‘Leeds School Olympics’ event to bring children together from all backgrounds including those with special educational needs and disabilities and refugee children.|
The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Robert W Gettings MBE JP, said:
“It is amazing to see how many children have once again taken part in this programme and inspire to help Leeds become the best city for children to live in. This year’s manifestos are full of fantastic ideas, and I look forward to finding out who will be our next Children’s Mayor. I wish the best of luck to all of our finalists.”
Councillor Fiona Venner, executive member for children and families, said:
“It is so important to give children and young people in our city a voice and an opportunity to share their amazing ideas. We have an ambition to make Leeds a more child friendly city and this is a great way to help young people be an active part of this change. The manifestos this year are really inspiring and reflect the compassionate and thoughtful community of children we have here in Leeds. Best of luck to all finalists and I look forward to meeting the new Children’s Mayor.”
Zulaykha Hussain, 2021/2022 Children’s Mayor of Leeds, said:
“I am really proud to have been able to represent Leeds and help so many children in my city. Thank you to everybody who supported me and I would like to say good luck to the next Children’s Mayor.”
Voters can visit the pop-up voting stations at Leeds City Museum and Leeds Central Library or vote online at https://tinyurl.com/LCM2022VOTE
To follow the progress of the Children’s Mayor on Twitter, see @LSChildrenMayor