Young Manchester is a charity that strives to improve opportunities for all children and young people across Manchester.

About Young Manchester

Manchester is a young, vibrant city. Over 40% of the population is under 35. Manchester is booming and yet 1 in 3 children live in poverty and austerity measures have impacted heavily on Youth and Play provision across the city. In an era of cutbacks, Young Manchester aims to provide children and young people in communities across the city with increased opportunities in all aspects of their life by commissioning projects that respond to their ever-changing needs.


The work of the charity is linked strategically to the ‘Our Manchester’ strategy and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the charity recognises the vital role it will play in ensuring Manchester as a city is the best it can be.

We are committed to working collaboratively with partners across the city to building on the vital and innovative work of the Voluntary Sector Community and raising the profile of Youth and Play across the city. Local business and corporates , trusts and other funders will be key to our success, supporting Young Manchester with pro-bono support to help grow the charity and in generating income so we can continue to fund projects that deliver service to children and young people.

Social Action at the Heart of What We Do

Young Manchester is here to kick-start a new era of social action across Manchester. We want to change the way youth and play services run to embed social action at the heart of the youth and play strategy. With our match funding support from the #iwill fund, we will enable more young people than ever to engage in positive and meaningful social action across Manchester. Take a look here to see our pledge to #iwill.


Social action provides an opportunity for young people to engage and give back to their communities whilst improving employability skills and supporting the enhancement of well-being among young people. Take a look here to find out more about the six principles of quality youth social action.

#iwill, DCMS, Community Fund, MCC Lock-up

Income Generation

To maximise access primarily to corporate investment and other new and additional funding sources for youth and play services.

Capacity Building

To support the infrastructure and sustainability of Manchester’s Voluntary Community Sector and Youth and Play Sector.


To promote the importance of young people to the city’s current and future wellbeing and celebrate the success and contribution they bring.


To actively provide financial support for new youth and play provision to meet identified and emerging priorities.

Download a copy of Young Manchester’s 2019-2020 Annual Review


Download a copy of Young Manchester’s 2018-2019 Annual Review

“Over 30% of the population in Manchester is under 30. Making it one of the youngest cities in Europe.”

Quality & Assurance

Young Manchester is committed to ensuring that all services delivered through Youth and Play in the city are of a high standard, supported by a robust quality assurance framework that includes strong governance and safeguarding. To support this we expect that all our delivery partners already have or are working towards, and will achieve in less than a year, the Ambition Quality Standard.


Young Manchester is committed to working closely with the Manchester Safeguarding Board and Manchester City Council to ensure that all our commissioning processes and funded provisions are in line with the Manchester Safeguarding Standard and national best practice.

Our Board

Sarah Klueter, Interim Chair

Sarah is part of the leadership team at Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, a social landlord committed to place-based regeneration.  As Assistant Director of Community Investment and Regeneration, Sarah leads community centre, youth, employment and enterprise teams investing £3.5million each year in South Manchester. 

Sarah began her career in Corporate Banking, moving on to become Senior Community Investment Manager at the Co-op, where she developed and led award-winning investment programmes.  Previous directorships have included Chair of The Co-operative Loan Fund and a Director of Industrial Common Ownership Finance.  

In 2018, Sarah was seconded as Interim Chief Executive Officer for Young Manchester for six months to support the set-up of the charity. 

Simone Spray, Deputy Chair

Simone is the Chief Executive of 42nd Street, a respected and inspiring young people’s mental health charity based in Manchester. The charity promotes young person centred support and creativity to 1000’s of young people from across Greater Manchester each year who need some help with their emotional wellbeing and mental health. Having worked with children, young people, families and communities for over 20 years, she previously held roles at Save the Children and Keep Britain Tidy.

George Whalley, Treasurer

George is Director of Finance at The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM). The RNCM is a leading international conservatoire located in the heart of Manchester, with a reputation for attracting talented students, teachers, conductors and composers from all over the world. George is also a trustee of Quarantine, an innovative theatre company working in Manchester. Prior to his current role, George was Director of Finance and Operations at contemporary arts venue HOME. George qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte LLP in 2008.

Roukagia Afan

Roukagia is a 20 year-old Manchester-based law student and award-winning activist.

She is passionate about diversity and amplifying the voices of young people and women from ethnic minority backgrounds, to provide them with access routes into leadership positions in our society.

For many years, Roukagia has been pursuing her passion of social justice and change with youth and women’s NGOs in the city and nationwide. She has worked with various charities, organisations and individuals including Mayor Andy Burnham, former Speaker John Bercow and MEPs from the European Parliament. Her work includes representing, advocating and campaigning for young people’s and women’s voices to be heard in the UK’s decision making.

Angela Harrington

Angela is Head of Work & Skills at Manchester City Council and provides leadership and coordination for the work that Manchester City Council does to support business and connect local residents to the employment opportunities created by the City’s growth. Previously, Angela was Head of Regeneration and held a number of regeneration positions at both area and citywide.

Dan Lawes

Dan is a 19-year-old award-winning activist from Manchester and a student at LSE. He is the Chief Executive of YouthPolitics UK, a national, youth-led and non-profit organisation dedicated to empowering the next generation through democratic engagement.

Dan has been an ambassador of the #iWill Campaign since 2017. He is a strong believer in the power of young people and their ability to make social change.

Dan is also a member of the Bank of England Youth Forum. In 2019, he was one of 20 young leaders from across the world to be awarded the Princess Diana Legacy Award for his services to young people – the highest award a young person can receive for their humanitarian efforts.

Furqan Naeem

Furqan Naeem is an award-winning campaigner, community organiser and philanthropist with a passion to bring communities together to strive for social justice. He was born and raised in Manchester and currently works as a Community Organiser for Citizens UK. He is also an Equalities Lead Board Member at Our Forum Manchester and a Trustee of Manchester Central Foodbank.

For over a decade Furqan has worked with the Princes Trusts’ Mosaic initiative, inspiring young people to achieve their goals. During the aftermath of the Manchester Arena Bombing in 2017, Furqan worked with young people of all faiths and none to build around common self-interests. Furqan was previously a trustee at Muslim Youth Helpline, a Young Ambassador for the Global Poverty Project and in 2013 was the recipient of the Malcolm X Young Persons award for excellence at the Muslim News Awards.

Furqan believes every young person in Manchester should have the opportunities to fulfil their ambitions no matter what their background or circumstance and wants to strive to make Manchester the best place to live and grow for any young person.

Cllr Luthfur Rahman OBE

Luthfur Rahman is the Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure since 2016 and a Labour Councillor representing the Longsight Ward, one of the most diverse communities in the North West. Previously he served as the Assistant Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Neighbourhoods, Environment, Finance and HR and was also Lead Member for Race.

Luthfur works very closely with the community supporting various voluntary organisations and charities; he is particularly passionate about empowering young people and women.  To further these goals, he is a board member of the Young Foundations Uprising programme, Manchester International Festival, HOME, Young Manchester, OnnSide and the National Football Museum.

Luthfur was awarded the Community Champion of the Year at the LGIU Councillor Awards for 2011 and is an Entrepreneur and qualified Financial Advisor.

Bounty Vegah

Bounty is currently studying for a Masters degree in International Tourism and Hospitality Management, and is interested in a career in Destination Marketing/Management and cultural events.

He feels he was very fortunate to be able to access youth activities in the city which opened his eyes to many opportunities around his community and wants to continue to grow these opportunities for other children and young people.

He wants to work to ensure that young people are not only empowered with experiences but also given opportunities to develop useful skills for the future.

Kate Vokes

Kate Vokes is currently Non Executive Director of Manchester based property business Bruntwood having previously worked in the business for 20 years in Marketing and HR. She is Chair of the Oglesby Charitable Trust, which has given around £23m to regional charities, many supporting young people. She is also Trustee of the Royal Exchange Theatre, The Shared Health Foundation which is helping to reduce the impact of poverty on health in Greater Manchester, Focused Care CIC and Chair of the Bruntwood Charity. She formerly held the role of Chair of Cityco and Chaired the board of the Manchester Youth Zone.

Our Team

Justin Watson, Director 

Justin has worked in the third sector since 2002, primarily in youth and community development, focusing on participation, engagement and campaigning. He spent 7 years at Save the Children, leading their youth engagement and campaigning work, supporting a network of young campaigners across the UK to influence at local and national levels, before moving to Oxfam to head up the development of their domestic programme in 2014, focusing on women’s economic empowerment, food insecurity and inequality.

Before this Justin ran a number of youth engagement, campaigns and outreach projects at community level, supporting the direct provision of youth and play services as well as supporting children and young people to have meaningful involvement in issues that affect them and society more broadly, including climate change, education and rights for asylum seekers and refugees. He has an MA in Youth and Community Work from Brunel University.

Justin has lived in Manchester for 12 years, and also volunteers for Reform Radio and runs a record label.

Moragh Hunt , Head of Finance

Moragh has worked within various accountancy sectors for 34 years. Her initial foray into the Third Sector began in 1996 when she joined a Community Accountancy Service who specialized in this Sector providing a full range of services.

She then moved on to working with Age Concern Kirklees for 18 months , before  joining Greater Manchester Police working for the Forensic Accounting Department 

Moragh has now started a business of her own which she runs with a small number of socially aware clients providing their accountancy needs and training. Working with this group of people, including this position at Young Manchester, satisfies her working criteria; working with people, numbers and making a difference in the world. Even if that is only in a small way.

Imogen Gregg-Auriac, Head of Partnerships

Imogen has 17 years’ third sector experience of developing and delivering transformative work in the UK, China and regional Australia and is passionate about the role of community development and education in supporting individual and community resilience. 

Most recently with the British Red Cross, she has been leading strategic development projects in first aid and humanitarian education. Prior to that Imogen worked for Australian Red Cross where she managed large scale services for children, young people and families and those experiencing deep social exclusion. Earlier in her career she held project and programme development roles at the Children’s Workforce Development Council and Save the Children UK.

Imogen has an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from SOAS and spends her spare time running (slowly) and volunteering with her local Scout group.

Henry Ngawoofah, Grants Officer

Henry has been involved with Voluntary Community Social sector for the past 10 years developing a range of community led initiatives supporting young people to achieve their goals and leadership skills.   Henry has extensive experience in capacity building, project development and fundraising, specifically within small and niche organisations that support young people to get involved in making a difference in their community as active citizens.   Henry is very keen with current affairs and politics and understands the importance of giving young people a voice to make impacting change through social action.  Henry enjoys a range of sports including football and cricket.

Samuel Remi-Akinwale, Project Coordinator (Partnerships)

Samuel is a young person that’s eager to help and support everyone he can. He is studying Politics at King’s College London and is very interested in policy-making.

He currently manages a small production collective called Creation Foundation, dedicated to hosting honest conversations and authentic content.

Samuel is also working on an anthology of stories of young people who have had challenges accessing higher education due to the UK’s immigration policies, prefaced with policy analysis and suggestions.

Rachel Garbutt, Social Action Coordinator

Rachel has worked in the third sector for the past 5 years, joining us most recently from a role with Save the Children UK. Here she supported the Children’s Communities project, a local systems change initiative that aimed to improve outcomes for children, young people and families through capacity building and collaboration. Prior to this Rachel was Volunteer Coordinator for Manchester International Festival 2019.

Rachel first gained experience working with young people through volunteer roles with ReachOut and the British Red Cross, and later as programme manager of the HeadStart programme at The Challenge where she supported young people to gain access to social action opportunities.

Liv Clarke, Project Coordinator

Olivia is a 19-year old award winning activist from Fallowfield, Manchester. She’s a proud, working-class woman and has been a youth activist since the age of 12. From creating the OUR Pass, a free bus pass for 16-18 year olds in Greater Manchester, to leading national campaigns – Olivia is passionate about amplifying the voices of young people and leading change.

Currently on her gap year, Olivia will be heading to Manchester Metropolitan University, in September, to study education – with the hope she’ll be moving one step closer to changing the education system, so that our education system works for young people rather than against them.

Caia Fallowfield, Project Coordinator

Prior to moving to Manchester last September Caia, worked in Northern France, collaborating with grass-roots organisations who work with refugee communities.  In August 2018, she co-founded Project Play, an organisation which promotes the right to play for displaced children living in informal camps at the UK-France border. Project Play believes in the power of play to promote the wellbeing, strength and independence of children and young people. During her time at Project Play she advocated for children and young people’s right to play and learn in a safe space. She moved to Manchester late last year and also works a teaching assistant at a Manchester high school.

Megan Chiu – Marketing and Communications Assistant 

Megan is a second year law student interested in advocacy, human rights, and media. Having recently moved to Manchester from Hong Kong, she was eager to get involved with the local community. Back home, she served as the Director of Advocacy at Justice Leaders’ Council, a student-led NGO that provides refugee children with educational and play opportunities, and volunteer opportunities for secondary school students. 
Currently, Megan is also the Public Relations Officer of the University of Manchester’s Pro Bono Society, and passionate about using media to campaign and raise awareness of social issues.

Matthew Needham – Marketing and Communications Assistant 

Our Ambassadors

Mo Hafeez

Mo is a very vocal person who likes to get his opinions across very wisely. Mo is a big boxing fan and also has boxed in the past. Mos’s dream is to become a professional boxer and become world champion in the future.

“Manchester is one of the most diverse cities in England. Being born in Manchester I hope to continue to see the city develop.”

Harry Rapinett

Harry is a Science and Music student from Greater Manchester. He chose to become an ambassador mainly because he recognised Manchester’s need for a youth voice and presence, as a large majority of decisions about young people were being made by people who were a lot older.

“Young people should not be underestimated, and we have a lot more to offer than you might think.”

Shiloh Hart

One of the main reasons Shiloh chose to become part of the Young Ambassadors programme was because he recognised the support it would provide in helping achieve his goals and further his development.

Khizar Ali

Khizar is from Manchester and he’s interested in getting into the creative industry and enjoys spending his time working on writing, filming, acting and other creative things. He’s also passionate about volunteering and helping out in his community. He joined the Ambassador Programme to support and represent young people in Manchester and provide further opportunities for them whilst also developing his own skills.

Bounty Vegah

Growing up in Manchester, Bounty feels he was very fortunate to be able to attend various youth activities that opened his eyes to many opportunities around his community, through arts and sports activities, he was not only able to express himself but build useful skills for the future. He became a young ambassador to ensure young people are not only empowered with experiences but also given opportunities to develop useful skills for the future.

Elizabeth Morenike

Elizabeth joined Young Manchester as an ambassador because, as a young black female teenager she wanted to make her voice heard. Often, the certain groups of young people can e underrepresented and their needs are tend to be  pushed to the side or seen as unnecessary. She wants to take action to make sure all wants and needs are heard.