Manchester charity appeals to local businesses to make Christmas memories for young people

You can make a real difference to struggling families in Manchester

By Natalie Rees | 5 December 2023

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A Manchester youth charity is hoping to treat families in one of the city’s most deprived neighbourhoods this Christmas.

Manchester Youth Zone, based in Harpurhey, is appealing to businesses across the city to consider donating towards experience gifts this year. 

Whilst many of us treat our loved ones to days out, theme parks and meals out when we can, the cost of living crisis means these experiences are out of reach for most struggling families.

Manchester Youth Zone hope to create memories like these for young people in the borough who rarely have the opportunity to make memories with family and friends. 

The gift drive comes on the back of the current cost of living crisis which has hit communities across the country. Some local families, particularly in North Manchester, need help to simply cover the basics this winter, aside from the expense of gifts and presents.

The team at Manchester Youth Zone hopes to raise £20,000 towards their gift experience and emergency fund, which allows the centre to support families when they need it most. 

Due to the current economic climate, the You Zone are seeing more families struggling to pay for essentials like utility bills, new clothes and even food. The fund helps to pay emergency fuel payments when families run out of credit and emergency food shops – it ensures every child is warm and fed over the holiday period and beyond.

Amanda Naylor OBE, chief executive of Manchester Youth Zone, said: “In the current climate our families are missing out on a lot of things. Experiences help young people to grow and broaden their horizons.”

She added: “We would love our young people to experience more outside of their neighbourhood and we are asking businesses to donate towards experiences rather than buy the kids presents this year. Talking with the young people it was also felt by some members that in previous years that the sheer number of gifts, wrapping and packaging created some waste and we’re excited at the prospect of creating a more environmentally friendly Christmas option too. 

“Also, if you are a business within the entertainment or hospitality sectors and would like to host some of our young people, we’d love to hear from you.” 

Manchester Youth Zone is open 364 days a year, only closing on Christmas Day. The service they provide is absolutely crucial to the local community – particularly during school holidays when children and young people still have a safe space to go, thanks to the Youth Zone. 

If you’re a business and want to get involved, you can email the MYZ here…