Child friendly Leeds awards – Five quick questions with West Yorkshire Playhouse First Floor

Child friendly Leeds awards – Five quick questions with West Yorkshire Playhouse First Floor

It’s only a few days until the nominations close for the child friendly Leeds awards. So far we’ve received over 400 fantastic nominations for people, places and organisation helping to make Leeds a great city to grow up in. We’re hoping to receive even more nominations before 31 October!

But what does winning an award mean to the recipient? Today we thought we’d find out by speaking to Gaby Paradis from the West Yorkshire Playhouse’s First Floor, last year’s winner in the ‘best place’ category, about what winning a child friendly Leeds award meant to them….


First Floor won the child friendly Leeds 2014 award for best place, could you tell us a little about the work you do?

“First Floor is the West Yorkshire Playhouse’s creative space for young people aged 11 to 19, or 14 to 25 for those with a learning disability. We deliver a range of theatre, music and visual arts activities, including: drop in sessions, projects, outreach and alternative provision. We work with a wide range of young people and partners from across the city, to provide a safe, accessible and creative space for young people to meet, learn new skills, receive support and achieve.”

It must take a lot of dedication to bring it all together. What did it mean to receive the award and have First Floor’s achievements recognised?

“It does take a lot of hard work, we are really lucky to have such a brilliant team, which is why winning the award meant the world to us here at First Floor! We work really hard to provide the best service to young people that we can, and we love what we do.

“When we heard we had been nominated for this award we were really overwhelmed, and winning was such a fantastic feeling especially knowing that it was the young people who had decided that we deserved this award. Winning the award has really spurred us on to make sure we lived up to the title making it a really exciting year here at First Floor.”

What’s your favourite thing about working with young people?

“I think what I enjoy about it is that every day is different and everyone is full of energy. It’s great to see young people coming into the centre, whether they are new members or regulars. You can get to know each young person and see how they develop and become more confident. I also really enjoy working with young people to make decisions about First Floor it means we know we are offering activities that they want to do.”

That’s great, so is there anything exciting coming up at First Floor?

“Yes, we are well into autumn term, with lots of different projects and drop in sessions running till Christmas. You can see what we have on our website at: “

We’re looking for people from around the city to pick a ‘best place for children and young people’ again for the 2015 awards, are you hoping to make it a second year in a row?

“We would obviously be delighted to be nominated and to win again, who wouldn’t. But there are a lot of great places for young people in Leeds so there will be stiff competition!”

Thanks to Gaby for taking the time to talk to us today. You can find out more about First Floor and the fantastic child friendly activities that take place there on their website:

And remember you still have time to nominate the best place for children and young people in the city, as well as the children and adults that are making Leeds a great place to grow up in:

Nominations close 31 October 2014, so make sure you make your nominations quickly!  


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