A Charter setting out the city’s aspirations for the children of Bristol has been unveiled at a ceremony during the city’s biggest free play event, Bristol Playday.
The Bristol Children’s Charter is a set of ten pledges made by organisations from across the city to set the rights and best interests of children as a priority for decision makers in Bristol.
Over 20 representatives of Bristol organisations large and small such as Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, Creative Youth Network, We the Curious and others were joined with families in signing the first Charter.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Organisations across the city are making decisions on a daily basis that, in some way or another, have an impact on the lives of children and young people. What this Charter aims to do is provide those organisations, both private and public and across all sectors, with a set of aspirations that their decision making can contribute towards achieving. We recognise that apart we can each achieve many things for children and young people but it’s only by working together to deliver our shared vision that we can create an environment where every individual has the opportunity to flourish.
"I wish to thank Councillor Helen Godwin for being the driving force behind the development of this Charter and working with partners to generate the support it has already received. I am delighted to back this Charter and commit the council towards investing our resources to create a thriving city that is good for everyone.”
The Children’s Charter doesn’t replace already existing strategies such as the Bristol’s Children, Young People and Families Strategy. Instead the Charter has been developed with reference to these individual strategies and pulls together a set of high level ambitions that are shared themes across them all.
The Charter’s pledges range from the protection of children from harm and having opportunities to play a full role in shaping the city around them to being able to have positive choices about their lives and development.
Aligning the pledges with those of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Charter applies to every child without discrimination, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities or any other status, whatever they think or say, whatever their family background.
Donna Speed, Chief Operating Officer at We The Curious, said: “Providing opportunities for young people to explore and experience the curiosities around and within them is one of our key pledges at We The Curious. The city of Bristol has so much choice and opportunity to offer to young people, to help them fulfil their potential, and we’re proud to be able to play our part in that. We are signing this Charter to demonstrate our active commitment to becoming part of a collective, all under one vision for the next generation and those generations beyond.”
Principles from the Charter will influence the development of the One City Plan, the emerging shared vision for Bristol which is being contributed to by key organisations across the city and region.
Any organisation wishing to sign the Charter and become a part of the pledge to develop a city that protects and provides for the most vulnerable children and young people should contact Councillor Helen Godwin, Cabinet Member for Women, Children and Families on firstname.lastname@example.org.