Voluntary Youth Manchester

Welcome to the website of Voluntary Youth Manchester, better known as VYM

Voluntary Youth Manchester is an inclusive network that supports voluntary, community and faith organisations who work with young people in Manchester, and works in partnership with a range of others to ensure that young people receive the best outcomes. As such, participation in our network meetings, events, conferences, training, receiving bulletins, is open to frontline youth workers, managers, trustees, partner organisations, across the voluntary, public and private sectors, so long as they respect the ‘safety’ of the space (see below).

In one regard however we are exclusive and this is with regard to voice. VYM strives to be a voice of those who provide the bulk of non-statutory services to young people – the voluntary youth sector, and thus, its youth workers and the young people with whom they work.

We do this in various ways:

  • Communication – VYM ensures that members are fully informed about things they need to know – training, funding, jobs, events, opportunities for young people, etc, via the VYM Stuff page of this website and a month e-bulletin.
  • Network – VYM holds quarterly network meetings at youth/community venues around the city (see orange box for details) addressing members’ expressed issues and needs. The network is a mutually beneficial resource whereby members share knowledge and experience to develop practice. As such, the Network meeting offers a safe place for workers to meet and share organisational and practice issues and to work together to identify individual and collaborative solutions. VYM also encourages and facilitates sub-networks addressing key areas of youth work practice, such as outcomes, data management and boyswork.
  • Practice development opportunities – VYM works with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and other key partners in the sector to offer robust personal, professional and organisational development opportunities, addressing issues such as outcomes & impact, youth work practice, QA, and governance.
  • Partnership working – VYM is committed to working in partnership with organisations that prioritize the needs and aspirations of young people in our city, seeing this as the only real way of delivering positive outcomes in an increasingly hostile and under-resourced environment. As such, we encourage this as a mode of practice in our members.  We are proud of our record of partnership working within and across sectors.
  • Youth Participation – for over 2 years, VYM worked with partners and young people across Manchester to develop a young people’s magazine, driven and produced by young people, reflecting the authentic voice of marginalised young people in Manchester.  Funding for the piece of work came to an end in February 2015, but we continue to be open to applying the learning from this to a new project.