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Child Friendly City

We are excited to announce that Nottingham has started its journey to become a child-friendly city.

We are working in partnership with the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) to be recognised in the UK and internationally as a child-friendly city.

The initiative has been made possible by funding from the National Lottery Community Fund Small Steps Big Changes (SSBC) programme

What Is A Child-Friendly City (CFC)?

Child Friendly Cities is a global UNICEF initiative that reaches and supports nearly 30 million children and young people in 50 countries across the whole world.

A child-friendly city is committed to improving the lives of children and young people within the city by fulfilling children’s rights as articulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The convention defines a child as a young person below the age of 18. You can read more about it by clicking link below.

Here in the United Kingdom, Child Friendly Cities and Communities is a UNICEF UK programme that works with local councils and communities to put children’s rights into action.

You can read more about it by clicking link below.

The goal of the programme is to make cities and communities places where all the local children and young people have a positive and meaningful input, so they can benefit from the plans, decisions, spaces and services they use and that impact their lives where they grow up.

Being recognised as a UNICEF UK Child Friendly City will make Nottingham a better place to grow up in. This will be good for children and young people, and good for Nottingham’s future. It is a priority for our city and Nottingham is invested in making children and young people’s lives better.

Child Friendly Nottingham will create the commitment and drive to improve our city. We will listen to what children and young people say, respecting their views and experiences, so that they will make an impact on decisions that will affect them.

We aim to create stronger communities for children and young people and improve the partnerships that work for them in our city.

Child Friendly Nottingham will enable a better understanding of children’s rights and how they are supported through services, partnerships, policies and planning.

Nottingham City Council and partners such as SSBC, the NHS, the Police and local organisations will work together with UNICEF UK to support and promote children’s rights and put them into practice. Child Friendly Nottingham will make positive changes for all children and young people of our city.

To become a child-friendly city, Nottingham’s children and young people have chosen their priorities that they want the city to focus on.

We will be working towards a set of goals that will address the priorities that Nottingham’s children and young people have told us are important to them.

They told us they want to

  • Be safe and secure
  • Have great opportunities to learn
  • Have a healthy, active lifestyle
  • Live in a kind and inclusive city

The city’s children and young people have chosen three blue badges that reflect and align to their priorities that will support their lives. The badges are;

  • Healthy
  • Safe and secure
  • Education and learning

UNICEF UK has three mandatory badges for city organisations – Communication, Co-operation and Leadership, and Culture (the three yellow badges in the middle).

The badges are setting our priorities to work on for the next 2 to 4 years.

Child Friendly Nottingham – Discovery Phase Consultation

Having opened the consultation phase in summer 2022, we have brought the city’s children and young people together so they could say what was important to them.

Click here to see what our children and young people said during a Primary Parliament consultation CFC Discovery Day - Google Drive

From the consultations, so far, we are improving our understanding of how our children and young people see and feel about their city.

We have produced an animation of the main things our children and young people highlighted during the consultations.  Click here to see the video Child Friendly Nottingham - YouTube

A huge ‘Thank YOU’ to all of the children and young people who took part. The Child Friendly Nottingham team and partners massively value your input - thank you for your views, honesty and wisdom.

To become a Child Friendly City, Nottingham’s children and young people have voted for their top goals for the city. The goals are represented by a series of badges and we will measure the progress towards attaining the badge. UNICEF UK has three mandatory badges – Communication, Co-operation and Leadership, and Culture. The badges reflect our priorities to work on for the next 3 to 4 years.

Safe and Secure

Children and young people said that they don’t feel safe enough going to parks, crossing roads or on the way to school. Older young people expressed concerns about their relationships with the police.

“If we had a safe and secure city and everyone feeling safe and secure more people would move around the city and visit the city.”

"If people don't feel safe they will stop coming."

"We should think about others which will be important as this will make them feel safer too.”

Education and Learning

Children and young people said they feel pressure around their futures. They feel that they have limited opportunities for further educations and practical experiences.

"We all will need to get a job and education and learning will help you get a better job and make good money."

"Education is good for careers, It is good to learn from the past."

"(Education and learning) helps us follow our dreams and be responsible."


Children took a wider view of health. Many commenting that there are not enough activities to support their general health. They wanted more educations in how being active helps improve their mental health. Young people linked healthy diets with healthy and active lives. They want suggestions for more education on how to eat and be healthy.

"Poor health leads on to anti-social behaviour and crime, poor eating leads to other problems, poor health will impact on jobs and family life."

"(We need to) look after ourselves and our emotional health."

Equal and Inclusive

We have chosen to include this badge as a theme to run through all the work because the city’s children and young people highlighted concerns and priorities.

Among their priorities were:

  • Inclusion for all with better and equal opportunities for all the city’s children and young people.
  • Better education and learning to teach the benefits of diversity and celebrate the diversity of the city.
  • Learning what is offensive to others and working out how to tackle discrimination and support others.
  • Making sure that everyone gets an equal opportunity to benefit from city programmes
  • Help people to better understand their unconscious biases and how stereotyping impacts the way people are treated.

Core badges

UNICEF (UK) recommend that we focus on a set of underpinning activity to help achieve child friendly status.

A child friendly city is one that promotes children’s’ rights and permits children to have more of a say in decisions that affect them. It creates inclusive places where children play, are healthy, protected, educated, not discriminated against and enjoy a cohesive and culturally rich environment. Broadly speaking it ensures that children and their needs are central to activities of all that is being in action in the city/community agenda.


Children and young people should consistently enjoy interaction with city organisations' staff and people within their community who know and understand how to use a child rights-based approach to improve their work. People value and respect children and young people and know about and respect children’s rights

Children and young people will feel welcome and respected in everyday interaction, communication and conversation (i.e. talk, acts, words and gestures) with adults and their peers. They don’t feel judged or stereotyped because of who they are or where they live, what they look like or anything else connected to their identity

Their rights are understood and respected by all in society and publicly championed by all leaders.

Cooperation and Leadership

People work together to make the city better for children and young people. They give children the opportunity to be involved in decision-making.  All adult decision makers value the importance of incorporating children’s rights. They work together and have the skills to make this happen.

All staff and leaders – no matter where they work - are skilled Child Rights Champions, and are able to use tools such as Child Rights Impact Assessments. They will collaborate and cooperate across organisations on all issues relating to the rights of children and young people.


All children and young people understand how they can find information they need. That is information about their rights and support that might make their lives easier, healthier, safer and happier.

The community has a better awareness and understanding of Child Rights locally and the situation for Children and Young People and understand how they can make positive change. When important decisions affecting children, young people and families are being made information will be shared in effective ways.

Organisation's communications staff and local media understand and value children’s rights and know how to put them into practice. This will enable children and young people to see positive stories about their achievements celebrated in the media.

Action Planning

We have been working with many partners and organisations across the city to write an action plan. We have used the feedback and voices of children and young people through the Discovery Phase and are turning it into actions for city providers and partners to commit to.

The Action Plan will be a working document of things to do and changes that will make better lives of all children and young people in Nottingham. It will include activities that will last a minimum of two years because we aim to make lots of changes for children and young people by the end of 2025. The work and progress against the plan will go towards Nottingham being recognised at a Child Friendly City.

We will publish the plan here in the next few months.

Have Your Say

If you want to get in touch and get involved, you can contact us at at Child Friendly Nottingham 


Consultation and activities to will be taking place over the next few months in schools, colleges, youth clubs and children’s groups.

Check back to find out what is happening near you.

We have been providing training Are you a Nottingham City Council colleague or partner? Does your role involve supporting children, young people and their rights?

As a city, we are striving to become a Child Friendly City (CFC) and we need colleagues, partners and professionals across Nottingham city to increase their understanding of children’s rights and have a child’s rights-based approach to support all children and young people.

If you are interested in this training, please contact Child Friendly Nottingham

Nottingham Child-Friendly Champion or Ambassador

Would you like to become a Nottingham Child-Friendly Champion or Ambassador to support the children and young people of our city?

To help our child-friendly city journey, we want a network of champions who can support the programme and the voice of our children and young people.

Be a Nottingham Young Person Representative

Are you over 11 years of age? Would like to support decisions made in the city?
Have your voice heard and get involved to represent you and other young people in Nottingham.

Please email Child Friendly Nottingham to tell us you are interested, and a member of the team will get back in touch with more details.

  • Supporting the voice of the Under 5s (Parents and carers consultation) – coming soon.
  • If you would like more information about Child Friendly Nottingham, please contact Child Friendly Nottingham
  • For more information on Child Friendly Cities, please visit the UNICEF UK page: Child friendly cities/

latest Notts Youth Survey is now available.

The survey is hosted by Nonsuch Studios. The link will take you to an external site
So, share your thoughts, be bold, tell us what you think and help us make positive change happen.

If you’re 13-25 you can do this in your own time independently or if you’re 11-12, you can carry out the survey under the supervision of an adult/teacher.

The survey is hosted by Nonsuch Studios, Nottingham's independent fringe theatre, creative venue and arts charity.  You can find out more information about the survey here Notts Youth Trends 2023 - Nonsuch Studios

Who Supports Nottingham’s Child Friendly City?

Our current partners are…


NCC Logo


SSBC Fund Logo


If you wish to support Nottingham's Child Friendly City Initiative, please contact Child Friendly Nottingham

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