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Profile picture of Sadiya Salim.

Local Authority Officer, Child Friendly Leeds

​Leeds Trinity is a small cosy university where once you join, you meet your extended family. I was very welcomed and met some amazing friends.

What Leeds Trinity means to me 

Leeds Trinity is a small cosy university where once you join, you meet your extended family. I was very welcomed and met some amazing friends. The staff (especially psychology staff) go above and beyond to ensure you receive the correct level of support! Although university tuition fees are high, I feel like the money was well spent. The university brings out the best in people and supports you from personal development, professional skills and academic support.

I was a Student Ambassador at the university which really gave me the confidence to promote the university, develop my communication skills and from this, I had gained another job linked to my degree in my final year. 

Sadiya Salim sat in a chair.

Launching a business 

During my second year of university, I started a business ‘Pretty Little Scarves’, which Phil Williams from the Enterprise Centre provided guidance, tips and support as well as some initial financial support. I was able to network, promote the business, develop my own website and learn about marketing.

The business was a fantastic experience and although I had seven successful years of trading thousands of scarves globally, I decided to close the site to focus on my day job and use my business skills to support my brothers business, ‘Scent Salim’, which was expanding much faster and won ‘Retail Business of the Year 2018’ at the English Asian Business Awards. 

Amazing support

During my time at university, I was able to get the right support from the amazing lecturers and student opportunities and graduated with a first in July 2015. Within a few months, I was successful in starting the graduate programme at Leeds City Council where I shared a passion to work in the children and families directorate.

Sadiya Salim with King Charles.

A huge passion for my work 

Since then, I have been working within the Child Friendly Leeds team, which recently celebrated 10 years and was joined by King Charles III as part of his first visit to Leeds as King. Child Friendly Leeds is an ambition to make Leeds the best city to grow up in and we believe everyone has a part to play. I have since managed several students from Leeds Trinity at a placement in the council and have been asked to come in to speak to level 6 students on how to get a job at Leeds City Council graduate programme. We also worked with partnerships and placements team on running a project with the education team and engaged 16 schools matching them with students studying a teacher training course or PGCE to support schools with EAL, which soon became embedded in the course module.

Supporting others

Having studied psychology, and seen the gaps in the city, over the years I have successfully received small grants to help start up organisations and charities to support vulnerable children and young people, early years and new arrivals to the city. My aim would be to coach young people and support them in achieving their goals.

Skills for life

I really thank the University for all the support and guidance they have given me. From the skills I gained in research to enterprise, I knew it wasn't impossible to run a business, or to do a psychological research piece, but to use these skills together to do something good for the community is what matters.