Getting Greater Manchester Youth Voice Right

Agenda-setting young people from the first Youth Combined Authority in the country have taken their seat at the decision-making top table alongside Greater Manchester leaders and I’m proud to have played a small part in that.

40 young people, representing 20 youth groups made history when they met for the first time, setting out their ambitions for a Greater Manchester Curriculum for Life, as well as deciding how future meetings of the GMYCA will run. In addition to the 20 youth groups, youth-led charity Xplode Magazine, where I serve as CEO, has been appointed as Official Media Partner.

In a letter to Xplode Magazine, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said:

“I want to extend my personal thanks for your commitment to young people in the conurbation; we are lucky to have people so passionate about the city-region’s youth fulfilling its potential and I would like to invite Xplode to be the Youth Combined Authority’s Official Media Partner, attending its meetings and reporting on its activities.”

I then added:

“As champions of youth voice, this announcement further proves that peer-to-peer Youth-led activity works. It’s an exciting time for Greater Manchester’s young people shaping their futures and for them to put usually boring information across to their peers in a youthful way, makes absolute sense. I’m proud of our volunteers and this new commitment from the Mayor.”

At the opening of the GMYCA, Andy Burnham said:

“I am so proud to welcome you all tonight to the first meeting of the Youth Combined Authority.

“You’re not here for show – you’re here to do a job and speak for young people in your street, in your school and in your community.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham visiting Xplode Magazine HQ

The GMYCA will undertake specific pieces of work, and develop real policies that will improve the lives of young people. One of their first tasks will be to develop the Mayor’s plans for an ‘opportunity pass’ which will build on half price bus and tram travel and open up access to leisure, sporting and cultural activities, as well as work placements and apprenticeships. The GMYCA will also advise the Mayor and GMCA on key issues affecting young people, and scrutinise the work of Greater Manchester’s leaders.

For more information on the Youth Combined Authority, follow @youthgreatermcr on Twitter.