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Kathryn Welford joins the team as Children and Young People’s Partnership Manager

We’re delighted to be kicking off 2021 with another accomplished addition to our team, as Kathryn Welford joins Leeds 2023 as our Children and Young People’s Partnership Manager.

We’ve formed a partnership with Leeds Cultural Education Partnership to ensure that children and young people are at the heart of our landmark year of culture.

Established in September 2017, LeedsCEP brings together a diverse and growing membership of more than 50 organisations from the arts, cultural and education sectors which cover all geographical areas of Leeds, providing a collective voice within the city to ensure every child and young person in Leeds has access to high-quality arts and cultural education.

With more than 20 years’ experience in delivering learning programmes for arts and heritage organisations, Kathryn is an expert in cultural and creative learning. An artist-turned-educator, Kathryn combines creativity with her knowledge of pedagogy to create inspired, creative learning opportunities, driven by a commitment to social mobility, equality of opportunity and access to culture.

Kathryn joins Leeds 2023 following two years at Harewood House Trust where she worked as Learning Manager, developing an Early Years programme and working with specialist artists around play and outdoor learning. She has also worked as Formal Learning Coordinator at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, developing an artist-led, outdoor programme for schools, colleges and universities inspired by the contemporary sculpture. She also led on the ‘Specialist Leaders in Cultural Learning’ action research project that investigated how creative, outdoor learning could impact the literacy attainment of Muslim children with English as an Additional Language. Kathryn was also part of the original team at The Tetley and worked for just under ten years for Creative Partnerships, a flagship government national initiative which modelled ways in which the cultural and education sector can work in partnership to deliver a creative curriculum and equip young people with creative skills.

Using her vast amount of experience in the field, Kathryn will lead our work with children and young people. Kathryn will also play a key role in growing strategic partnerships with those working with children in Leeds, and of course, managing the vitally important partnerships with local schools.

Leeds 2023’s creative director and CEO Kully Thiarai comments, “Kathryn is a fantastic addition to the team; her experience speaks for itself and brings with her a passion and commitment to lead on this hugely important part of our programme. From the outset, young people’s voices and engagement in decision-making have been a key priority. We want to be more than just advocates for children and young people; we want to allow them to make their mark on the cultural life of the city that they call home.”

Sarah Beckett, Senior Cultural Education Manager at IVE, Arts Council Bridge Organisation for Yorkshire and the Humber, said, “We’re delighted that Kathryn has been appointed to this crucial role. She will be working across LeedsCEP and Leeds 2023 and with our many partners to grow the aspirations and nurture the talents of all children and young people in Leeds through high-quality arts and cultural opportunities. Kathryn will play a leading role in ensuring that children and young people have a voice and agency in shaping the city’s cultural life. She will also work with the wider creative sector to explore and showcase best practice locally, regionally and nationally to cement Leeds’s reputation as a centre of cultural learning.”