Manchester Youth Zone celebrates 10 Years with Portrait Display of the city's Inspiring Young People

The portraits of 10 of the city’s young people who have benefitted from attending Manchester Youth Zone are currently being displayed across the city.

By Emma Davidson | Last updated 16 February 2024

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Manchester Youth Zone in Harpurhey, North Manchester is celebrating its tenth year in 2022. A member of the Onside Youth Zones, it has become central to the North Manchester community, enriching the lives of young people to raise their aspirations, try new things and instil them with confidence. 

To celebrate the work of the Manchester Youth Zone over the last decade, the MYZ team has worked with local photographer, Jody Hartley and creative agency, Typocom to create the 10 in 10 campaign, featuring ten young people who have benefitted from attending Manchester Youth Zone during the last ten years who will each be featured on landmark buildings and advertising spaces across the city.

The campaign intends to make the young people themselves stars of the show for this milestone public art project, which launched in May at Axis Tower on Deansgate

The stunning 28 storey residential skyscraper owned by Property Alliance Group is unmissable to thousands of people, as it can be seen from across the city. The landmark will feature the 10 in 10 portraits on its digital advertising space. 

Property Alliance Group has pledged support for Manchester Youth Zone in 2022 in a number of ways, including facilitating the campaign launch at Axis Tower. The young people featured in the campaign were all there in person to see their images and stories unveiled to the people of Manchester. 

The ten young people included in the campaign range from aged 10 to 26 years of age. They all have very different stories on how the Youth Zone has helped them reach where they are today. 

They include Clayton Davison who is a young person who regularly visited the Youth Zone and made it his second home. Growing up with peers who were involved in anti-social behaviour Clayton worked with youth workers at MYZ to create a different path for himself.  

He focussed on his football skills often taking the younger kids under his wing and helping them improve. MYZ enabled Clayton to undertake coaching awards and now Clayton is a coach with City in the Community and comes back as a worker coaching football on the 3G pitch. 

You can read all the ten individual stories on the Youth Zone’s website here

Amanda Naylor OBE , CEO of Manchester Youth Zone added: “ We are thrilled to unveil our fantastic campaign at Axis Tower. Property Alliance has come on board as a supporter of Manchester Youth Zone in our tenth year and it is the perfect building to showcase our 10 in 10 campaign in the heart of our city. The young people themselves are what makes the Youth Zone special and so it’s only right that they are the stars of the show. 

“We would like to thank the amazing Manchester businesses and  individuals who have given their time for free to help this campaign come to fruition, including Jody Hartley, photographer and Typocom.

“Our centre is just three miles outside of Manchester city centre, one of the most prosperous cities in the UK, and yet the outcomes for children in this area is amongst the very worst in the whole country. We want to encourage businesses in the city to help us create a level playing field – as we say at Manchester Youth Zone ‘talent is evenly distributed, opportunity is not’. We are here to create that opportunity and the future these young people deserve.

“There has never been a better time to do this as Manchester City Council also launched its work to become a UNICEF child friendly city through its ‘Our Year’ campaign.”

The awareness campaign aims to encourage local businesses to get involved to help secure the future of this much needed operation. The Youth Zone opens seven days a week and expects over 31,200 visits by young people in this year alone. This number is set to keep increasing and the running costs for the Youth Zone will also rise. 

A number of other landmark sites across the city will follow in the coming weeks and months, with companies giving their support with digital and display advertising space in this special year for the youth zone.

They include the large digital display space at ANS situated at the gateway to the city centre on Princess Road and AO Arena supporting by donating a number of digital and print spaces throughout its concourse. 

Experts in regeneration u+i, the creative developers behind Mayfield, the mixed used regeneration project which includes the much anticipated 6.5 acre park and the hugely popular Freight Island entertainment venue has also pledged support with large advertising displays on Fairfield Street, close to the venue. 

Visitors to the city are encouraged to look out for the young people’s portraits as they pop up around the city over the coming weeks and scan the QR codes featured to read their stories. 

30th June will see a 10th birthday celebration and fundraising event take place at Freight Island – with all money raised going to Manchester Youth Zone. There are a range of ticket options available from just £5 to £100. 

To learn more about how your business can get on board and hear more about Manchester Youth Zone contact or visit the link below.

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