The Institute for Education, Bath Spa University, Pledges Support to the ‘Bath & N.E. Somerset Child Friendly City and Community’ Initiative
‘Child Friendly Cities’ (CFC) embody the Convention on the Rights of the Child at the local level. A child friendly community is a system of local governance, committed to fulfilling children’s rights; where children are active agents, their voices and opinions are taken into consideration and influence decision making processes. Becoming ‘child friendly’ is a process, defined in the UNICEF CFC Framework as 9 components:
- Ensure children’s participation
- Have a child friendly legal framework
- Develop a city-wide children’s rights strategy
- Create a children’s rights unit or have a coordinating mechanism
- Ensure a child impact assessment and evaluation
- Have an appropriate children’s budget
- Ensure a regular state of the city’s children report
- Make children’s rights known among adults and children
- Support independent advocacy for children
Since 2013, the CFC agenda in Bath and North East Somerset has been driven by creative and cultural organisations across B&NES, through a Steering Group whose membership represents a diverse range of children and young people focused organisations, including the IfE, 5x5x5=creativity and the Cultural Forum for the Bath area. The next steps involve a two-stage plan:
- Stage One: To secure £11,550 to produce a Children & Young People-led Manifesto for a ‘Child Friendly City & Community’ for B&NES, through an 8-month process led by ‘Learn to lead’ (www.learntolead.org.uk).
- Stage Two: To secure funding, potentially using a crowdfunding platform, for a Project Co-ordinator, whose work will be framed by the Manifesto and the UNICEF building blocks (above).
On Wednesday 10th February, Steering Group members Marian McNeir (Cultural Forum for the Bath area), Penny Hay (5x5x5=creativity) and Mel Macer (Institute for Education, Bath Spa University) were invited to the egg to present to an audience with the Cultural Forum, Councillors and the Mayor of Bath. Together with presentations from Sarah McCluskey (Strategic Commissioning Officer, Participation for Children and Young People, Bath & North East Somerset Council) and Briony Waite from Learn to lead (www.learntolead.org.uk), were presentations by young people from Mentoring Plus , School Without Walls and Got Ya Back!