Bath has the potential to lead the way internationally through it’s democratic process and in turn become a truly communal city, by embracing an opportunity to allow young people to have a say in policies, laws, programs and budgets.
Bath can achieve this by becoming a ‘Child Friendly City’ – this is a global initiative designed by UNCIEF where children’s rights are reflected through the embodiment of the convention of the Rights of the Child, at a real and local level.
Cities across the world are hoping to achieve Child Friendly status from UNICEF, which includes basic requirements, such as access to health care and education, protection from violence, exploitation and abuse, to walking safely in the streets on their own, meeting friends and playing, having green spaces for plants and animals and influencing decisions about their city, amongst other elements.
In the city a number of passionate organisation’s and people would like to see Bath get ‘Child Friendly Status’. This influential steering group believe that through this unique distinction, our city would have a persuasive calling card and will be able to provide world-leading approaches to participation and democracy.
Today, 1st October everyone in the city is invited, alongside Bath-based cultural, civic and community organisations, to the egg Theatre, to participate and listen to an inter-generational conversation about the Child Friendly City initiative to galvanise interest and to urge BANES to support this exciting and important enterprise.
Mayor of Bath and Councillor Cherry Beath, Bath Festivals, Kate Cross, Director, at the egg theatre and Penny Hay, Director of Research, 5x5x5=creativity and Senior Lecturer in Arts Education at Bath Spa University are behind the scheme amongst others from the Bath Cultural Forum, Creative Bath, schools and Mentoring Plus.
Penny Hay: “We can re-create Bath as a child-friendly community through democracy and participation. Designing a truly democratic society with the children’s voice at its heart”.
Penny, who is a Champion of Children’s Right, founder of Bath’s Forest of Imagination, School Without Walls and arts education charity, 5x5x5=Creativity, adds: “We want to have genuine engagement with children and young people, (and parents) rather that patronise them with what adults think is right for them.”
Cherry Beath adds: “We want to make 2015 the year of Bath as a Child Friendly City.”
To find out more about this initiative and to help put Bath on the global map through Child Friendly Status join the Cultural Forum at the egg on Wednesday 1st October from 6pm-8pm or find out more here: www.cfba.org.uk.