Archive | Younger Life

New Performance Project Calls for Young Creatives

The Geraldine Connor Foundation is currently searching for young creatives aged 14+ and based in Leeds who are interested in music, spoken word, dance or film to create and take part in a production celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Windrush.
The ship called ‘Empire Windrush’ brought the first wave of Caribbean migrants to Britain in 1948, marking the beginning of the mass immigration movement in the UK that resulted in an estimated 172,000 West Indian born people living in the UK by 1961. To many, they are known as the Windrush Generation.The brand-new production will explore this momentous historical event and its impact in Britain today.Weekly workshop sessions will be on Monday’s 6-8pm at the Mandela Centre in Leeds, starting on Monday 20th November, and lead to performances in June 2018.

The GFC is looking for passionate and creative young people interested in exploring their cultural heritage to sign up for this exciting new project, which will also provides the opportunity to achieve the Arts Award at Bronze or Silver level.

Please note, these workshops are free to attend and, although this opportunity is unpaid, it is a fantastic chance to develop your creative skills and work alongside professional artists.

Want to find out more and express your interest?

Contact the Geraldine Connor Foundation by email at or call 0113 243 1166. For more details on this exciting project, click here.

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Harry Potter: A History of Magic comes to Leeds


Journey to where magic and myth began with Harry Potter: A History of Magic at Leeds Central Library.

Have you ever wanted to delve into Divination, ponder the peculiarities of Potions and discover magical creatures? Now you can. In partnership with the British Library, Leeds Central Library will be capturing the traditions of folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories. The Library will be delving deep into the archives to bring you a display of magical treasures and tales and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

The exhibition will include books on witches, fantastic beasts and all things supernatural dating back hundreds of years as well as a specially curated Herbology Room that will bring the magical world of Harry Potter to life.

Event Highlights:

Harry Potter Quiz Night

Friday 24th November, 7.30pm

Do you know your Wampus Cat from your Bowtruckle? Could you pick Hermione’s wand out of a line-up?

A special late night quiz held in our very own Harry Potter room where we will be armed with questions from the experts at Pottermore. Test your knowledge of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, see how you fare against our Curator’s Curious Conundrum and win some brilliant prizes.

Tickets: £2 per person. Book here

Licensed bar will be available from 6.30pm.


History of Magic Experience

Sunday 3rd December, 11am – 3pm

Join us for the launch of Harry Potter: A History of Magic Exhibition with  stalls, activities and special guests.

Suitable for all ages.


British Library Live Screenings

The Harry Potter Effect

Thursday 23rd November, 7pm

How have the Harry Potter books changed the landscape of children’s literature?

20 years on, journalist Nicolette Jones, author Katherine Rundell, Publishing Director of Children’s Books at Bloomsbury Rebecca McNally and social commentator Shami Chakrabati discuss the Harry Potter effect – on both literature and our cultural consciousness.


Women, Witches and Witchtrials

Tuesday 5th December, 6pm

This event includes Private View of the exhibition and Curator Tour

Anita Anand chairs a panel of expert historians including Margo Burns, the x10 great-granddaughter of one of key protagonists of the Salem Witch Trials, Malcolm Gaskill, and Ulinka Rublack as they discuss the history of witchcraft and gender roles within it.


More information about the exhibition and the accompanying events can be found here.

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City Varieties Youth Theatre Seeks New Members



Children in aged eight – 11 with a passion for theatre are invited to audition for the City Varieties Youth Theatre Company (CVYTCo) on Saturday 23rd September, from 11am – 12.30pm at Leeds Grand Theatre.

“The audition process for the young performers is a relaxed workshop involving games and drama exercises that will provide an opportunity for them to see what is involved in being a full-time Youth Theatre member”, said Rachel Lythe, Head of Learning. “No formal audition preparation is needed, we want children to come along, have fun and see whether they think it will be a fit for them as much as it is for us.”

Launched in 2012, the CVYTCo, under the guidance of Artistic Director Lizi Patch and the Leeds Grand Theatre Learning Team, allows young people to perform and work alongside professional artists, develop skills, and meet like-minded people.

“Our focus is on nurturing, supporting and creatively challenging every individual, regardless of experience”, said Lizi. “The programme is designed to build confidence, trust, self-awareness and creative skills through physical theatre and regular acting, singing and dance sessions.”

For more information and to download an application form visit or call Hannah Johnson, Arts Administrator, on 0113 297 7042.


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Are You Easily Embarrassed?


What People Think is a witty and revealing original production by the Carriageworks Young Theatre Makers (CYTM) at the Carriageworks on Sat 29 July.

A team of researchers have come up with a hypothesis: people who feel embarrassment less keenly are more successful in life. They set out to prove their hypothesis through presenting the contrasting experiences of siblings; one who feels embarrassment easily and one who is never embarrassed. Created a talented ensemble of  young theatre makers What People Think is a light-hearted original show touching on themes of social awkwardness, growing up and success in a post-truth world.

Led by professional theatre director, Ruth Cooper, the group is formed of young people aged between 10 and 19 who meet weekly to create new and original theatre.  CYTM develops young people’s confidence and skills as performers, writers and directors. In creating a new piece of theatre the CYTM work as an ensemble, developing team-work and increasing their vocabulary of contemporary performance styles and techniques. The young people form a supportive group in which their creativity is nurtured and they are offered a genuine platform for their ideas.

What People Think is at Carriageworks Theatre on Sat 29 July at 2pm & 7.30pm. 

Tickets cost £6 (Adults £8) and are available from 0113 376 0318, online through the website at or in person at the City Centre Box Office, Leeds Town Hall.

Carriageworks Young Theatre Makers are looking for new members to join from September!

Informal auditions and introductory workshop will be held on Tuesday 18th July 6pm-7.30pm at the Carriageworks Theatre. If you’d like to get involved please call 07891 272410 or email

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Extraordinary Opportunity for Young Musicians with Opera North



Opera North’s popular Orchestra Camp returns this summer with young players being given the opportunity to spend a week of their school holidays perfecting their skills with some of the region’s finest performers.

The camp will run at the University of Leeds School of Music from Monday 21 to Friday 25 August and is open to keen instrumentalists aged 10 to 18 years. It is suitable for orchestral players of all abilities, from Grade 1 to Grade 8, including strings, woodwind, brass, and percussion. Over the course of the week, participants will be appropriately challenged to develop within their own technical ability.

The young people will take part in instrumental activities, vocal sessions, and drama and movement workshops, designed to enhance both their playing skills and general musicianship in an enjoyable, creative and inspiring way. They will also master new pieces with professional musicians, and will be mentored by members of the Orchestra of Opera North, culminating in a side-by-side performance on the final day.

The theme of the Orchestra Camp has been inspired by L’enfant et les sortilèges (The Child and the Magic Spells) which is one of Opera North’s forthcoming productions in The Little Greats season of six shorter operas. Ravel’s bewitching work tells the fantastical tale of a naughty young boy who, having been confined to his room for refusing to do his homework, is rebuked by the animals, furniture and plants that he has mistreated in the past. As well as looking at Ravel’s extraordinary music, the young players will explore a range of other scores written in response to mystery and magic, including pieces by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and John Williams.

Opera North Orchestra Camp is non-residential with sessions running from 9.30am-4pm each day. Parents are welcome to drop off children from 9am and can collect up to 5pm.

Places are limited so early booking is advised.

The cost of the camp is £150 per person, which includes all workshops and the final performance with the Orchestra of Opera North.

Discounts are available for siblings: places for two children cost £270, while the price for three children is £400. Bookings can be made at Orchestra Camp or, for two siblings or more, on 0844 848 2720.

The deadline for booking is the end of July.

The Orchestra Camp is supported by the Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund. Opera North’s Education programme is supported by Opera North Future Fund and the Whitaker Charitable Trust.

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Young Leeds Kick Boxer Wins British Title


Worlds Youngest Black Belt, Jake Frood (9 years old) from Leeds  has gained himself yet another title. Jake who fights on the England Kickboxing Team and is officially sponsored by the Stobart Group recently returned from Birmingham where he Won GOLD and took the British Grand Slam Kickboxing Championship Title.

Jake who attends Broadgate Primary School won his British Title fighting in the Kickboxing category in the boxing ring winning him the Championship belt.

This was a huge achievement for Jake especially as he has been out of training and competitions for 4 months due to a flair up of his Juvenile Arthritis which meant the pains in his legs prevented him from fighting.  Jake had started to regain his fitness and returned back to training at Leeds North AEGIS Martial Arts and Leadership Academy just 2 weeks prior to this competition as he was adamant that he wanted to defend his title which he has won for 2 years previously.

Following this win Jake has now qualified to represent England at the World Kickboxing Championships for the 4th year in a row that are being held in Ireland in August and the World Ring Sports Championships in Spain in October.


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Dadstastic: The Huge Free Father’s Day Party at Leeds City Museum


Dadstastic, a day of free family fun organised by Leeds Dads, takes place on Father’s Day (Sunday 18 June 2017) from 11am – 3pm at Leeds City Museum, Millennium Square.

The day is for babies, toddlers and children up to 11 years old and offers a great opportunity for parents, carers and grandparents to interact with their children.

The day’s activities will include music, dance, science, storytelling, arts and crafts, and sport.

Children can learn to dance with Phoenix Dance, upcycle vinyl and turn old records into art, jump and shout at the BoomChikkaBoom baby rave, and meet their favourite fairy tale story characters. There’s fun outdoors with Pop Up Sport on Millennium Square, you can create crazy carnival headpieces, or make ‘Dad-Face’ biscuits and eat them!


Some sessions are bookable on the day and loose clothing and trainers should be worn:

BoomChikkaBoom – Baby Rave!

Sponge Tree Storytime – Laughing Yoga Story time

Phoenix Dance – Movement, Balance and Taking Space Classes


Other sessions are drop-in and do not need to be booked. These are:

Bloom Bakers – make your own ‘dad-face’ biscuits

Valentina’s Collective Carnival Arts (part of Leeds West Indian Carnival) – create crazy carnival headpieces

Zulu King Monk – upcycle vinyl and turn records into art

SaturDads – Tiny Play – heuristic play for under 2s

Scraptastic – invent musical instruments using scrap

Leeds Library – Dadstastic Zines – make a mag about your family

Health For All / Young Dads – fabulous food art and other edible creations

The Tetley/Timid Elk – 3D dad’s construction

Hamara Centre – mendhi and face painting

Leeds Children’s Theatre – meet your favourite fairy tale story characters

Leeds Pop-Up Sport – fun and engaging activity session to get your heart pumping and your face smiling. Please wear loose clothing and trainers.

Leeds Museum Family Trail – find out more about dads in the Life on Earth Gallery – from the sensational seahorse to the perfect penguin!

Anyone wishing to attend this FREE event should pre-book and register at

For more information about Leeds Dads and Dadstastic, please visit their website:; Facebook:; Twitter @leedsdads

Or e-mail:

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Spring into Action at the Royal Armouries


This May half term the Royal Armouries museum will be playing host to a programme of exciting hands-on and have-a-go activities as part of its ‘Spring into Action’ week.

Families are invited to burn off some energy as children can try out the challenging military-style junior assault course, as well as discovering the skills and training required to become a warrior from different time periods in a Warrior Workshop.

Alongside this activity, the museum’s experienced interpretation team will be demonstrating martial arts and sword skills, plus recounting dramatic tales of tournaments and sporting daring-do.

The museum will be open from 10 am – 5 pm between 27 May – 4 June, with activities running throughout the week.


Have-A-Go Activities will include:

Junior Assault Course

Outdoor energetic fun on our military style junior assault course.

£3.50 / Suitable for ages 4 – 13 (parental supervision required)

Book on the day / Combo ticket £5 for assault course and Warrior Workshop


Martial Arts Demonstration

Watch a variety of martial arts techniques and find out how they were developed.



Martial Arts Have-a-Go Workshop

Your chance to have a go at some martial arts techniques.

Free / Suitable for ages 5+ (parental supervision required) / Book on the day


Battle Tactics

Get in formation and defeat your enemy! A fun introduction to Viking marching drills. 

Free/ Suitable for all ages (parential supervision required)/ Book on the day


Warrior Workshop

Discover the skills and training required to become a warrior from different time periods in this fun and interactive workshop (child friendly props and ‘weapons’ will be provided).

£3.50 / Suitable for ages 5 – 11 (parental supervision required) / Book on the day / Combo ticket £5 includes assault course and Warrior Workshop

For more information on ‘Spring into Action’, visit:


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Get Kids Active This Spring Bank Holiday at Camp Carnegie

Camp Carnegie, programme of American sports, football, rackets and athletics for children aged eight to 16 will take place this Spring bank holiday week from Tuesday 30 May to Friday 2 June.

Taking place at the Carnegie Sports Centre at Headingley Campus, Camp Carnegie is open to children of any sporting ability.

New to the Camp this year is the specialist football camp, alongside the popular American sports programme including American football, lacrosse, baseball/softball, ultimate Frisbee and dodgeball. Children will also have the opportunity to mix and match their choices of sports during the day. They will have access to some of the finest sports facilities in the country, within the safety of the University’s grounds.

The Camp runs from 10am to 4pm each day, with the option of paying for wraparound care from 8.30am to 5.30pm. Children will be taught by qualified and friendly coaching staff, who will place them into age and ability-appropriate groups.

The athletics programme includes sprinting, hurdling, long jump, javelin, discus and shot put; while the rackets programme features tennis, badminton, squash and table tennis.

The cost of the Camp is £15 for a half day, £25 for a full day, £30 for a full day with wraparound care, and £18 for a half day with care.

For more information and to register your child for the Camp, please go to or contact Kirsty Mcphee on 0113 812 3737 or by email at

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Revolting Fun at Thackray Medical Museum




Enjoy some revolting fun at Half Term in the Body Lab at Thackray Medical Museum. From 29th May to 2nd June, the museum invites you to investigate your bodily functions in a series of hands-on science workshops.

If you always wanted to know why wee changes colour or why we create snot when we have a cold, then these workshops are for you. Roll up your sleeves and don your lab coat to make a fake poo, mix ingredients to resemble sick, make slimy snot and create fake scabs.

“These activities are really hands-on and messy and great fun to take part in”, said Learning Officer Charlotte Chester.  “By explaining the purpose of these bodily functions and their importance to keeping healthy, visitors will go away with an understanding of how the body works and what to look out for when things go wrong.”

Family workshops take place from 29th May to 2nd June between 11am and 3pm. Museum admission charges apply, but there is no extra charge to take part. For full details visit the museum website








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