OPINION: community spirit

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When Youth Can Achieve leader Nikki Sharpe first proposed that Sheffield attempt to launch the country’s first official Children’s Day - on November 20 this year - I wonder if she had any idea what an overwhelming success it would end up being.

Once she teamed up with the NSPCC, who created Go Green Day to run alongside the day of recognition, hundreds of you stepped up to get in on the act - arranging fundraising events, sponsored runs, and sports matches, tea parties, bake sales and fancy dress.

A grand total of £30,000 is an incredible achievement and will pay for the ChildLine School’s Service to reach two and a half thousand schools in the coming years.

Claire Reading of the NSPCC, said the charity couldn’t be happier with the final count.

She added: “Of course, we’re absolutely thrilled with the way the people of Sheffield got behind us and supported a day that was about, not only raising money for a vital service, but about celebrating children generally and raising awareness of important issues regarding their rights and wellbeing.”

And Nikki, a Sheffield solicitor and founder of social enterprise Youth Can Achieve, took the opportunity to hold a conference to urge the Government to officially recognise the day.

The conference saw child experts, organisations and charities debate issues relating to children.

“We have started our Children’s Day UK campaign to get the 1954 United Nations Resolution on a Universal Children’s Day implemented here in the UK.

“We’re the fifth wealthiest country with 3.5 million children living in poverty and this year 80,000 children will be homeless at Christmas.

“It’s time the people of this country stood up to fight for and celebrate their young people - and I think it’s exciting that Sheffield is at the forefront leading the way.

“I’d like to thank this city and its wonderful people for their continued support.”