Manchester City Council launches ‘2022: Our Year’ to achieve UNICEF ‘Child Friendly City' status

The campaign launch took place at the People's History Museum last night

By Charlotte Puckering | 7 December 2021

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Manchester City Council

Manchester City Council is launching a year-long campaign to bring UNICEF’s ‘child friendly city’ recognition to the city.

But to first achieve the status of Child Friendly City by UNICEF, a place must demonstrate over two years that the voices, needs, priorities and rights of children are an integral part of public policies, programmes, and decisions.

So in order to accomplish that, the 2022: Our Year campaign will bring new experiences, opportunities, events, and support to the young people of Manchester throughout 2022, all of which will help them reclaim their futures after the Covid-19 pandemic.

The campaign will also incorporate special fundraising projects specifically to support Manchester’s most vulnerable youngsters.

Ambassadors of the 2022: Our Year campaign include Coronation Street’s Cath Tyldesley, Night Time Economy Adviser and Parklife boss Sacha Lord, hospitality entrepreneur Aaron Mellor, radio presenter Chris Hawkins, and LGBTQ+ campaigner Carl Austin Behan OBE.

Each ambassador has pledged to contribute their experience, talent, and time to consult and take part in events, support fundraising projects, and provide practical opportunities such as work experience and mentoring.

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In response to feedback from young people, teachers and youth workers across the city, Manchester City Council is also in the process of creating sponsorship opportunities for local businesses to support two new essential funding provisions.

Sponsorship opportunities will range from £5k – £50k for local businesses to demonstrate their commitment to social value, and to build a better future for local youngsters whilst highlighting Manchester’s culture and creativity.

Leader Elect of Manchester City Council Bev Craig said: “Covid-19 has laid bare the inequalities that are deep rooted in our society. Around a third of Manchester’s children are currently growing up in poverty and our young people have felt the brunt of the impact of the pandemic – missing vital education and left isolated from their friends.

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“A formative time in their lives has been cruelly taken away from them. Those from disadvantaged backgrounds have been hit even harder.

“We are a city with a powerful social conscience and 2022: Our Year is about closing the gap between the haves and have-nots. We cannot shy away from the challenges that face our city and it is our responsibility to do everything we can to ensure that everyone in this city can share its success.

“This work won’t happen overnight, but the aim of this journey is to show our young people that they can succeed. We want to inspire them to think big, believe in their own potential and – ultimately – we want Manchester to be the very best city a young person can grow up in.”

Visit the Manchester City Council website for more information.