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Bradford Citizens Alliance launches with Listening Summit across 23 schools

Posted 24th November 2022

Last week, 23 schools across Bradford convened virtually to discuss the most pressing issues affecting them. This listening summit was the culmination of a campaign which ran in schools last term to ascertain the key priorities for young people in the city, with the aim to present proposals to decision makers on the changes they want to see.

Answering the question ‘what needs to change in Bradford for young people this year?’ Up to 100 students from Beckfoot Trust, Dixons Academies Trust, BDAT, Carlton Academy Trust, and Exceed Academies Trust set out their change manifestos for the year ahead, which were debated and prioritised.

At the summit, which was chaired by students from Dixons Sixth Form Academy, students voted on cost of living, mental health and racism as their key focus areas in their community. They will now continue working on their strategy to influence change around these topics.

The summit was the launch event for Bradford Citizens, an alliance of organisations in the district that serve young people. The alliance exists to give young people a platform and a voice to enact change in the communities they live in.

Jim Lauder, Trust Lead for Civic Responsibility, Dixons Academies Trust said:

“We are so proud of our students who spent an incredible amount of time and effort over the last few months running listening campaigns in schools to ensure that as many young voices as possible were considered at the summit. The development of the Bradford Citizens alliance is a vehicle to further amplify the voices of our powerful young people and ensure that they have the support and resources they need to create change in their community.”

Currently made up of five Bradford based school trusts and supported by organisations like Born in Bradford and Young in Covid, the alliance was born out of the successful Schools Pandemic Recovery Summit which was held in March 2021 to allow young people to share their pandemic experiences and discuss how they wanted to rebuild Bradford post-pandemic. In 2021 – 2022, Bradford Citizens’ young leaders met with representatives from the council, NHS, and police and won support on issues such as mental health.

Bradford Citizens is looking for other organisations which support young people in the area to join the alliance to reach a wider population of young people in Bradford and ensure the inclusion and amplification of as many young voices in the city as possible.