Thousands of Cardiff’s children and young people have been left smiling, as Cardiff’s Summer of Smiles city-centre festival has drawn to a close, paving the way for even more Child Friendly family fun this summer.
Attracting more than 8,500 visitors, the three-week family fiesta located at Cardiff’s City Hall lawn, was an integral part of the capital’s city-wide Child Friendly summer event programme, providing Cardiff’s children and young people with activities based on a range of themes including science and tech, creative arts, sport and adventure, play and family fun.
Around 22 formal partners joined together to deliver a wide range of activities from trying a new sport in Olympic year to viewing exhibits on the lawn courtesy of the National Museum of Wales. The site also hosted circus skills, table football tournaments, BMX displays, arts and craft activities, theatre performances and live music and much more!
Joint funded by Cardiff Council and Welsh Government, Summer of Smiles is not over yet and will continue to deliver a jam-packed programme of activities in communities across the city for the remainder of the six-week school holidays.
Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: “When developing a Summer of Smiles, our aim was to make sure that every child and young person was given something to smile about, following the difficulties and challenges experienced during the pandemic.
“We could not have achieved this without the backing of Welsh Government and the support and commitment of our city-wide partners who have provided a range of fantastic opportunities which focus on wellbeing and re-engagement, encouraging children and young people to play, move and actively enjoy themselves with friends and family.”
Summer of Smiles is part of Cardiff’s Child Friendly Recovery and closely aligns with the city’s ambition to becoming an internationally recognised Child Friendly City, as recommended by the UK Committee for UNICEF.
Cllr Merry added: “Cardiff’s Child Friendly vision, places the rights and voices of children and young people at the heart of the city’s policies, strategies and services and they will form an integral part of the city’s approach to recovery and renewal from the impact of the pandemic.
“Our recovery features plans for greater partnership working, to ensure that Cardiff is a ‘Great Place to Grow Up’ where the voices, needs and rights of all children and young people are respected.”
Recently, the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) recognised the pioneering role that Cardiff Council has played as one of the first to join its Child Friendly Cities and Communities programme and that good progress has been made in embedding children’s rights into the Council’s strategies and the way in which our young people are supported and nurtured.
As a result, UNICEF UK has recommended that Cardiff submits for Child Friendly City early next year.