A fun, safe, welcoming place for children

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Hi, Anna Simons here, a long time resident, parent, secondary school teacher and Chair of Child Friendly Headingley who feels lucky to live in Headingley. During our thirteen years here, my husband and I have had two daughters who are now aged 6 and 8 and both attend one of our fantastic local primary schools.

We loved living in Headingley as a couple, but especially now we have children. Over the past few years we have noticed that there has been a significant rise in the number of families moving into the area. This means more family and child friendly groups, events, and places to eat are becoming available.

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I wanted to support Headingley to become an even more family and child friendly place to live. After meeting other like-minded people we set up a local community group called Child Friendly Headingley, of which I am the Chair. Our aim is to develop and promote Headingley as a fun, safe and welcoming place for all children.

We have carried out several community consultations with both children and adults in the area. The three  main priorities identified are supporting the needs of families and children, creating and promoting Headingley as a destination of interest for them, and creating a welcoming environment.

We have now undertaken several successful projects and events. We have a very successful Facebook   page where we post child friendly events both in Headingley and the surrounding area. We ran a session at last year’s “Festival of Ideas” on children’s journeys around Headingley. We have also organised a book exchange and supported a toy exchange at a local primary school.

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Our biggest event this summer was when we worked with the Heart community centre to support and develop their “Wonderday”. Attended by over 250 people (150 children), there was whole range of free activities were offered including children’s yoga, sing and sign, physics workshop, stock frame animation, crafts activities, face painting, Ronnie the Rhino and rugby activities, and a treasure hunt around the local shops.

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As a family we like to support our high street here including going out to eat, although as parents know this can be both a pleasurable or not so pleasurable experience. In Headingley we are spoilt with many independents and chains that both welcome and cater for children.

We have worked with Headingley Development Trust on their new website to publicise children friendly activities, groups, restaurants, shops and so on, to let everyone who lives here and those considering moving into the area that children are well catered for in Headingley. If you want to find out more about us, check out and like our Facebook page “childfriendlyheadingley“.

Anna Simons
Child Friendly Headingley