Voluntary and community groups based in Manchester are being urged to apply now for their share of the city’s biggest dedicated funding pot in ten years that has been set aside to provide activities for children and young people.
A total of £2.8m has been earmarked by the council from its budget to directly fund enriching educational and recreational activities for the city’s children and young people over the next two years.
Manchester’s Youth Play and Participation Service (YPPS) is looking to award the funding to a wide range of local voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations with the aim of making sure the provision of such activities is spread across the city and that as many children and young people as possible can benefit from them.
A total of £1.2 million is available from 1 July 2023 up to 31 March 2024, followed by a total of £1.6 million from 1 April 2024 up to 31 March 2025.
The council is looking for voluntary and community groups that can provide opportunities for children and young people to take part in a wide range of activities that help improve young people’s physical and mental health and their emotional wellbeing, as well as supporting their personal, social, and economic development, and connecting them to their community.
Organisations that are successful in securing funding will need to meet a number of requirements linked to local Manchester strategies and will also have to work to meet tangible outcomes that are measurable and can be reported on.
They will also be expected to liaise and work with other VCS and statutory organisations in the city to deliver effective and efficient services identified by children and young people, and to attend and contribute to district based networks to jointly address issues, support each other, and develop the youth and play workforce.
The callout for organisations to apply for funds follows the council’s year-long ‘2022 Our Year’ campaign, which was dedicated to providing young people with a packed programme of opportunities and activities throughout last year to help make up for everything they had missed during the pandemic.
It comes also as the council begins its journey towards becoming recognised as a UNICEF UK Child Friendly City.
Councillor Garry Bridges, Executive Member for Early Years, Children, and Young People, Manchester City Council, said: “We’re determined to make Manchester the very best it can be for all our children and young people. Our ambitions are high and quality youth and play work in every part of the city is vital to this – which is why we’re investing an extra half a million pounds more this year and next than we’ve previously invested, to make more provision available across the city than at any time over the last ten years.
“We know we have many thriving communities right across the city with their own expertise and experience, and we’re really keen to harness this and see them also being supported to provide youth and play work alongside our already fantastic range of established organisations.
“Whenever we talk to young people they tell us they want a range of things to do in their local areas that are free and easy to get to. That’s what this funding is for – let’s work together and make it happen.”
A series of ‘Meet the Funder’ events have been taking place both in person and on-line to provide more information to organisations interested applying for a grant. There’s still time to book a place to attend the following events:
• 7 February from 2 – 4pm at Rushford Park, Longsight
• 15 February, from 1 – 3pm, Lifestyle Centre, Wythenshawe
Find out more about the grant scheme and make an application here
The closing date for all applications is 26 February 2023. Applications received after this date won’t be considered.