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Children’s Lord Mayor pledges to #MakeLeeds2023

  • Grace Branford, Leeds Children's Lord Mayor 2016-17

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She’s the pint-sized political powerhouse who scooped thousands of votes by pledging to spread some kindness through Leeds’s communities.

Now Leeds Children’s Mayor Grace Branford has donned her chains of office to pledge support for the city’s bid to be European Capital of Culture in 2023.

Eleven-year-old Grace was elected after she promoted the idea of local schools spreading the message of kindness and dedicating one day each year to charitable acts or fundraising for third sector organisations.

Grace said: “The best thing about being Leeds Children’s Mayor has been meeting so many new people and putting my manifesto into action with the Kind Minds Mission.”

The Kind Minds Mission saw 19 primary schools give something back to their community with food banks and toy collections, litter picks, care home visits and fund raising activities. With kindness at the core of the campaign, the schools showed how they were thinking of others and helping those less fortunate.

Grace’s school, Drighlington Primary School, had a ‘kind minds box’ in which children put messages to other classmates which were read out each day to the children.

As a representative of the children of Leeds, Grace has backed the 2023 bid by pledging to tell all of her neighbours about it, and spreading the word in her community. She sees the cultural events held in the city as very important to people her age.

“Events like the World Triathlon or Light Night are great because they get children out and about instead of sitting indoors. Becoming the European Capital of Culture in 2023 would be something for everyone to celebrate”

Everyone in Leeds can join Grace in backing the bid by pledging their support and sharing their activities on social media using #makeleeds2023.

Other suggestions for pledges include telling 23 family and friends about the bid, sharing details about the bid with everyone on your social networks or downloading an exciting new Maker’s Manual, which includes creative ideas for how to get involved, from the Leeds 2023 website.

Sharon Watson, chair of the Leeds 2023 independent steering group, said: “The enthusiasm for the bid that we’ve already seen from people across Leeds has been truly inspiring and it’s clearer than ever that there’s an incredible passion for this once-in-a-generation opportunity for our city”.

“With the all-important submission date now fast approaching, we’re keen to harness that collective energy and help spread the message that the bid is something that everyone, from every walk of life can be a part of.

“We’d urge as many people as possible to take this chance to get involved, pledge their support and help show the world that culture is at the absolute heart of Leeds and our communities.”