Greater Manchester Combined Youth Authority


The Greater Manchester Youth Combined Authority (YCA) emerged in 2017 with a passion to provide a vehicle for youth voice.

Following this, the YCA was formalised by the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) in 2018, supported by the ten local authorities. The YCA held its first meeting in February 2018 and since then it has continued to give young people in Greater Manchester the opportunity to have their voices heard and influence Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) policy and decision making.

Its work comprises of:

  • Advise the Mayor of Greater Manchester, the Portfolio Lead for Equalities and the Portfolio Lead for Children and Young People of the challenges and opportunities faced by young people.
  • Proactively support the GMCA and its public, private and voluntary sector partners to develop effective policy and practices for young people.
  • Constructively challenge political and system leaders on progress to improve outcomes for all young people, including those that face discrimination and disadvantage because of their identity.

The YCA has been influencing policies, strategies and decisions on a number of different issues, and have championed the voice of young people across Greater Manchester. Its key achievements include:

  • Helping to create Our Pass, providing free bus travel across Greater Manchester for 16-18 year olds, supporting school leavers and care leavers
  • Presenting at Youth Select Committees on Curriculum for Life and Knife Crime
  • Speaking at the Northern Power Futures Conference and two Conferences of the North
  • Contributing to Greater Manchester’s annual Green Summit conferences, including taking part in a question-and-answer sessions with the Mayors of Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region
  • Co-hosting the Meet Your Future launch event in April 2019
  • Featuring on BBC North West’s Sunday Politics programme

Read an independent case study by the Local Government Association here.

2022-2024 Membership

The YCA is made up of 26 youth groups; 10 are the Greater Manchester Youth Councils and the other 16 are organisations who represent young people from a diverse range of identities and backgrounds.

Each organisation nominates two young people to represent it. Each member is aged between 11 and 18 (or up to 25 for those with additional needs) and serves for up to two years.

Be The Change Youth Project@bethechangeyp@bethechangeyp
Blossom Foundation@blossomfound@live.blossom
Caribbean & African Health Network (CAHN)@cahn_uk@cahn_uk
GM Army Cadet Force@gmanacf@greatermanchesteracf
GM Fire & Rescue Service@FutureHeroesUK@gmfrsfutureheroes
GM Youth Network (GMYN)@gmyn@gmyouthnetwork
Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire & Merseyside@GroundworkCLM
Hideout Youth Zone@hideout_yz@hideoutyouthzone
KYSO Project CIC@kysoclub@kysoclub
Manchester Youth Zone@manchesteryz@manchesteryouthzone
One Manchester@onemcr@one_manchester
Rochdale Connections Trust@RCTrochdale@rochdaleconnectionstrust
Spectrum Gaming@Spectrum0Gaming@spectrum0gaming
The Proud Trust@theproudtrust@the_proud_trust
Water Adventure Centre (WAC)@WACdroylsden@wateradventurecentre
Youth Leads UK@YouthLeadsUK@youthleadsuk
Bolton Youth Council@bbyc_ymps@bolton_youthvoice
Bury Youth Council@BuryUKYP@buryyouthvoice
Manchester Youth Council@mycthehive@manchesteryouthcouncil
Oldham Youth Council@OldhamYC@oldham_yc
Rochdale Youth Council@RochdaleYouthie@RochdaleYouthie
Salford Youth Council@SalfordYC@salfordyouthcouncil
Stockport Youth Council@StockportYouth@stockportyouth
Tameside Youth Council@tamesideyouth
Trafford Youth Council@YouthCabinet@youthcabinettrafford
Wigan & Leigh Youth Cabinet@wiganleigh_youthcabinet

Working groups

The YCA has also established a number of working groups to focus on particular projects and issues. Whilst there are not any current working groups, previous groups have included:

  • Curriculum for Life Working Group: formed to contribute towards the formation of Greater Manchester’s Curriculum for Life, a plan to address gaps in skills and learning and equip young people for life by working with schools, colleges, youth clubs, as well as employers across the city-region
  • Health Working Group: with a particular focus on mental health and the environment, the group informed the priorities of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Board and planned a Health Conference for 137 young people
  • Environment Working Group: have helped contribute young people’s voices to Greater Manchester’s annual Green Summit events.

If you are interested in joining one of the working groups, please email [email protected]

GMYCA has provided me with endless opportunities to use my voice as a young person. This has boosted my confidence levels and built my ability to make meaningful connections with different groups of people in Greater Manchester. Becoming the Inclusivity Lead of the GMYCA has been an honour and an amazing learning experience; from leading icebreakers, engaging in discussions with the Mayor, to speaking with other youth organisations - it has truly taught me that I can be impactful and so can you! It only takes you to realise the power that your voice carries.

Shekinnah Wilberforce, Inclusivity Lead for the GMYCA Leadership Team (2020-2022)

Greater Manchester Youth Combined Authority is part of my commitment to improving opportunities for young people across our city-region, helping to make Greater Manchester one of the best places to grow up and get on.

GMYCA gives our young people a voice and, along with our six other equality panels, it is placed at the heart of decision-making in Greater Manchester.

They’ve done a fantastic job and have made a real difference, whether it’s been developing Our Pass or joining me at our Green Summit conferences. We are now looking for new members and this is your chance to get involved and help direct Greater Manchester’s future.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham

Find out more about YCA here.