Plans are shaping up to make 2022 a fantastic year of opportunity for Manchester’s children and young people, to help make up for all the time they’ve spent in lockdown and away from school and their friends during the last two years.
A calendar of activities, events, and opportunities throughout the year is being put together to help all children and young people – from tots to late teens – get their lives back post-Covid.
Amongst the highlights of the year is the return of Manchester Day – Manchester’s favourite day of the year. After a two-year absence due to Coronavirus, the free event on 19 June promises to be bigger and better than ever before, and this time, in recognition of everything the city’s children and young people have had to go through during the pandemic, it’s going to be dedicated to them.
The day will once again include the legendary Manchester Day Parade, which will as always weave its way in spectacular fashion through the city’s streets, and young people across the city are being offered an exclusive chance to help make and shape the parade over the next few months, or to play a starring role on the day.
Having fun and sharing good times together will be a big part of Our Year 2022, culminating in a city-wide extravaganza of fun for children and young people of all ages as part of National Play Day in August, which will see every part of the city buzzing with fun activities.
Listening to the voices and views of children and young people is at the heart of the council’s ambitions for the future of the city and key to making Manchester a child-friendly city.
As part of this, a year-long competition launching in Spring and continuing throughout 2022 will see a call-out for submissions from young people of artwork, poetry, written word, songs, photos, anything they want to submit, that for them captures what would make Manchester a child-friendly city.
Councillor Garry Bridges, Executive Member for Children and Schools, Manchester City Council, said: “Our Year is all about listening to what children and young people want from their city, as well as leaving a legacy of a child-friendly Manchester where young people are heard and can influence decisions that affect them.
“That’s why we’re launching a competition to ask children and young people themselves, ‘What would make Manchester child-friendly?’
“Manchester has incredibly talented young people with diverse backgrounds and interests. We want them to put that creativity to good use, and tell us what would make Manchester a better city for them to play, live, and grow up in.
“Their ideas will help us shape a future city fit not just for them but for sucessive generations of children and young people living here in Manchester, and we can’t wait to hear what they’ve got to say.”
Discussions are already well underway with businesses and partners on delivering the year-round programme of cultural and leisure activities for young people, as well as wide-ranging work experience, mentoring, and volunteering opportunities. The council is however still keen to hear from anyone who thinks they have something to offer that would make a difference to the life chances of children and young people.
Councillor Bridges said: “We have high aspirations for our young people. They’ve told us what they want from our city and we want to make it happen.
“The Council can’t do this alone though – we need the whole city to work with us.
“So we’re renewing our call to businesses, cultural organisations, leisure providers, shops, transport operators, and others – to get behind our children and young people this year, and to help create the opportunities and experiences they need and deserve to allow them to reclaim their futures and succeed in life.
“Leaders across Manchester are already jumping at the chance to get on board and work together for a better future for our young people, but we would love to hear from anyone else who wants to help and can support this campaign.”
More information on Our Year 2022, and details of how to get involved are available at: ouryear.uk More information for youth groups, community groups, or schools who want to get involved in Manchester Day is available at: manchester.gov.uk/manchesterday