Our vision is to be a leader in creating a healthy and equitable European city

Healthy Cities 21st Century

Shaping Healthier Neighbourhoods for Children

The Shaping Healthier Neighbourhoods for Children model aims to give children an opportunity to make their views about their environment heard. The project was piloted in 2011 in west Belfast and rolled out to north, south and east Belfast in 2013-2014. The project has to date engaged nearly 400 P5-P7 children.

Children’s Voices at Belfast City Hall on 16 June 2014

Children present their charter for Belfast to Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan

Children present their charter for Belfast to Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan

The event was opened by Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Maire Hendron, addressed by Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan and closed by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley Mooney. It celebrated the work of the children involved in Shaping Healthier Neighbourhoods for Children and gave them the opportunity to have their voices heard. The keynote speaker at the event was Sue Rumbold from Child Friendly Leeds who shared experiences of the City of Leeds development as a child friendly place.

The Shaping Healthier Neighbourhoods for Children model

Through a range of classroom and outdoor workshops children were encouraged to think about the built environment where they live and go to school. Participants took photos and created artwork that demonstrates what they like, don’t like about their neighbourhood, while also making recommendations about what could make things better.

Shaping Healthier Neighbourhoods for ChildrenShaping Healthier Neighbourhoods for Children

These views and recommendations on what would make things better were used to develop Children’s Voices - A Charter for Belfast and a report.