Campaign welcoming people back to Leeds is unveiled

Published on July 20, 2020

We’re delighted to unveil the winners of the ‘Welcome Back Project’ – a competition created by McCann Leeds which invited young people to design an advert welcoming people back to the city following lockdown.

18-year old Parthenope Wald-Harding has been selected as the overall winner of the competition following her outstanding submission which saw her create an animation set to music that she composed herself. The short animation shows a cyclist riding through Leeds and showcases not just the city’s physical attributes but also the people that reside there.

Her submission has been adapted for screens and combined with elements from the Silver award winner, Zainab Naeem, to create a film that is now being shown across the City including in Millennium Square and Trinity.

The Welcome Back Project was a competition developed by McCann Leeds in collaboration with the Ahead Partnership, with support from Leeds City Council, Channel 4 and the University of Leeds to channel the creativity of the region’s young people into a project that would give the city a voice following the global pandemic.

Open to those aged 11 to 19, the competition invited entrants to come up with an idea for an advert – a poster, poem, or video – which would welcome people back to the city.

Gavin Shore, Executive Creative Director at McCann Leeds and head judge of the Welcome Back Project said: “We’re firm believers in creativity as a catalyst for change and believe this is an opportunity to give young people a voice as well as bring people back together as the restrictions are slowly eased.

“Parthenope's winning submission was simply outstanding. A stunning musical composition, complete with an animation that could easily be professional. We were blown away by not just the quality of this work but also how well it answered the brief.”

The competition was launched in association with the Ahead Partnership – an organisation that works to connect businesses with education to help drive social and economic change and enhance the employability of young people.

Full details on the project, including the winners, can be found at