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Greater Manchester Youth Combined Authority

The creation of the Greater Manchester Youth Combined Authority (GMYCA) in February 2018 marked a ground breaking initiative, establishing a platform where young people can influence the policy-making processes.

The GMYCA gives young people in Greater Manchester the opportunity to have their voices heard and influence GMCA policy and decision making. Its work comprises of:

  • Advising the Mayor and GMCA on key issues and concerns of young people, and provide solutions
  • Providing a critical voice and scrutinise the work of the Mayor and GMCA
  • Undertaking specific pieces of work for example, developing ‘Our Pass’ the free bus travel card for young people, and contributing to Greater Manchester’s annual Green Summits
The YCA is made up of 29 youth groups: 10 are the Youth Councils of Greater Manchester; 19 are organisations that represent young people from a diverse range of identities and backgrounds in our city-region.

The YCA has recently published its Vision for 2024-26. Each of the areas within the Vision document will be discussed during members’ monthly meetings over their two-year cycle, with space for members to generate ideas, campaigns, and influence policy, within the areas of:

  • Transport and Active Travel
  • Education, Employment and Skills
  • The Environment
  • Equity, Equality and Inclusion

The Greater Manchester Youth Combined Authority worked with the Violence Reduction Unit on their new strategy, ‘Greater than Violence’ between June and December 2023 in its first phase. 


The aim of this work was to engage young people in the creation of the new strategy; they did this by attending the main YCA meetings to ask the group about their experiences of youth violence and what would need to change.


Using the Lundy Model as a framework the YCA, the Violence Reduction Unit staff completed a pre-attendance form for the YCA, based on the Lundy model. In this, they were able to share how they would create a safe space for young people to express their ideas, including creating an informal environment to encourage open discussions. The YCA Leadership Team also helped in structure the session to be more youth friendly, by encouraging the VRU staff to limit use of PowerPoint slides.


Prior to attending the YCA, the VRU team shared the seven priorities which were set out in the Serious Violence Action Plan in 2020, as well as a list of core questions that are being used across engagement in the Violence Reduction Strategy. This enabled young people to think about their answers before the session, and consider how they wanted to share that feedback; either during the session (verbally and written options) or with their youth worker before or after the session. In planning the session, the YCA Leadership Team helped to prepare the VRU team for how to engage with the group, so that young people had every opportunity to have their voices heard.


The audience for these sessions included the Deputy Mayor, which was a great way to show the group that their views were impacting decision making and being heard by decision makers directly. The sessions were facilitated by staff at different levels in the VRU, so that those who were working on the policy and those who were signing off on the work were both included in the discussions.


Young people were shown the influence of their work when the Deputy Mayor and VRU attended a follow up YCA meeting (September 2023) to share their ‘You said we did’ work. In this, they shared a summary of the previous discussions of the YCA, and what they had done with their thoughts in the formation of the new strategy.


The influence of this work is also evident in the final Greater than Violence strategy, which refers to the engagement done with the YCA.  The YCA Chair spoke about the involvement of the YCA in the strategy and the visibility of their influence at the launch of the strategy. 

“I have learnt so much that it’s hard to list one, but the main thing is the importance of having our voices heard. We made such a difference this term working on important projects and talking to many different people. I understood just how impactful a space like the YCA is and how necessary it is for improving GM for young people.”


The Youth Combined Authority is one of seven equality panels established and funded by the GMCA. Find out more about the work we do here. 

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