ymcaWe have always worked to make a big difference to our community – in particular Manchester and Salford. From our early days this ranged from providing affordable places for individuals to stay; physical fitness and sports programmes; educational classes; through to helping ex-servicemen re-orientate themselves after the second world war.

From the 1970’s working with communities took on a renewed impetus as we began to focus not just on our members, but also the people who lived in our immediate environment. Our move to Castlefield has seen this strand of our work grow year on year, has and recently we have seen significant progress and developments. Please visit the YMCA website for more information.

Inspiring Futures

Being a young carer is tough. It’s unlikely to have been something that you chose to do. An illness or disability in the family can change the lives of young people sometimes as young as seven year old.

Many young carers can find opportunities and life chances restricted and may become isolated, confused and depressed as a result. These pressures are increased by the normal roller coaster ride of ‘growing up’.

In Salford there are some 400 young carers or young adult carers who are registered with the Carers Service. It is estimated that there may be up to 3000 more young people across Salford who carry out caring tasks.

Our project increases the confidence, social skills and employ-ability of this group and engages with them to achieve positive outcomes in their education, physical and mental well-being, socialisation, future careers and independence by delivering work related social skills workshops and individual support sessions.

Key Outcomes

  • All young people will have completed some form of accredited training by the end of their engagement with the project.
  • All young people will have accessed a volunteering or training opportunity, a work placement or entered employment (part or full time) by the end of their engagement with the project.
  • A measurable difference to the quality of each individual young person’s life will be made, including how they feel about their future, aspirations and opportunities.

Magnus Mowat Bursary

The Magnus Mowat Bursary is a fund distributed by The Booth Charities, Salford for the benefit of young people from Salford. Magnus Mowat is a former President of our Board of Trustees and is now a trustee of Booth Charities.

The programme offers vocational placements with YMCA Manchester’s Y Club, a health and fitness facility in Castlefield to young people from schools in Salford. We offer participants the opportunity to undertake a YMCA Awards level 1 qualification.

The programme has been developed to encourage young people to have belief in their own ability to complete tasks and reach goals. We want them to be able to achieve positive results in their education, physical and mental wellbeing, socialisation, future careers and their eventual independence.

The programme builds work related social skills around topics such as, behavior in the work place, how to build relationships and work well with others, rights and responsibilities at work.

Training and Education Programmes

We believe every young person should be able to fulfill their potential

Helping young people gain the confidence to make decisions about their own lives is an important part of our work, as is providing an environment in which they can flourish.

Education is much more than formal schooling. YMCA Manchester offers a range of accredited education and skills-based training programmes such as employ-ability, fitness and physical activity, sport and active leisure, personal development and functional skills.

We work with young people aged 13-24 that may be at risk of exclusion, struggling with a school setting academically, have learning needs, are a young carer or care leaver.  We currently work with four schools to deliver bespoke programmes based on the needs of the young people attending.

We are currently a delivery centre for YMCA Awards and NOCN offering a broad portfolio of qualifications at Entry Level 1 to Level 1

For more information or to find out how you can work with us please get in touch info@ymcamanchester.org.uk

Be Real: Body Confidence for Everyone

Be Real: Body Confidence for Everyone

YMCA Manchester are proud to support the launch of the Be Real Campaign

The Be Real Campaign is a national movement made up of individuals, businesses, charities and public bodies.

The Be Real Campaign focuses on three areas which it strives to bring about real change:

Real Education: We want to give children and young people a body confident start to life

Real Health: We want healthy living and general well-being to be prioritised over just appearance and weight

Real Diversity: We want the advertising, fashion, music and media industries to positively reflect what we really look like.

To view research behind the campaign and learn about our toolkit which helps schools tackle low body confidence in the classroom, please visit:



Mental Health Champions

YMCA Mental Health Champions is a comprehensive programme that aims to improve the mental health of young people aged 11 – 21.

This new programme offers three key services: Peer support programme in schools and the community Key adult education and awareness workshops Counselling service

By using three interconnected strands, the project helps to raise awareness and destigmatise mental health issues, offers a fully quality assured counselling service and improves the knowledge and support that key adults, including teachers and parents, can offer the young people they work with.

Peer Support

Our peer support element recruits, supports and trains young volunteers to become mental health champions. Our champions have access to six developed workshops, each focusing on different areas of mental health, increasing awareness, removing stigma and advising on easy to use coping strategies.

Key Adults

The programme offers four workshops to help key adults support the young people they come in to contact with. The workshops deal with topics such as anger, anxiety, depression and self-harm, offering practical advice on how they can begin the conversation with young people and also how their actions can help have a positive impact.


We recognise that peer support services should be offered as well as and not instead of professional services. We also know that it can be very difficult to access publicly funded counselling services and so Mental Health Champions offers a counselling service to those young people who need additional help but do not meet the referral criteria for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.