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Youth Combined Authority

About Greater Manchester’s equality panels

The Greater Manchester Equality Panels have been established to advise, support and challenge Greater Manchester’s political leaders and policy-makers to tackle the discrimination and disadvantage that cause injustice and inequality in society, and champion Greater Manchester as an inclusive city-region. They do this by working together with the GMCA and partners to:

  • Provide insight into Greater Manchester’s diverse communities, enabling political leaders and public bodies to listen and engage in a more targeted and effective way
  • Communicate key messages to our communities as trusted sources
  • Co-design policies, programmes and strategies to ensure they work effectively for communities
  • Support an asset-based approach, highlighting new opportunities (and challenges) for positive collaboration that build on the resources and strengths within our communities

The Youth Combined Authority is one of seven equality panels established and funded by the GMCA. Other equality panels include:

Aims of the Youth Combined Authority

The YCA was created in February 2018. It was the first of its kind in the country.

The YCA gives young people in Greater Manchester the opportunity to have their voices heard and influence GMCA policy and decision making.

Its work comprises of:

  • Advising the Mayor and GMCA on key issues and concerns of young people, and provide solutions
  • Providing a critical voice and scrutinise the work of the Mayor and GMCA
  • Undertaking specific pieces of work (for example, developing ‘Our Pass’ the free bus travel card for young people, and contributing to Greater Manchester’s annual Green Summits)

Over the past six years, the YCA has been influencing policies, strategies and decisions on a number of different issues, and have championed the voice of young people across Greater Manchester. Its key achievements include:

  • Helping to create Our Pass (external website), providing free bus travel across Greater Manchester for 16-18 year olds, supporting school leavers and care leavers
  • Engaging with the Violence Reduction Unit in their new ‘Greater than Violence’ (external website) strategy development, with the YCA Chair speaking at the launch event in December 2023
  • Presenting at Youth Select Committees on Curriculum for Life and Knife Crime (PDF, 2.9MB)
  • Speaking at external events, including the Northern Power Futures Conference, and Conferences of the North and UNICEF Thailand conference
  • Contributing to Greater Manchester’s annual Green Summit conferences, including taking part in question-and-answer sessions with the Mayors of Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region
  • Co-hosting the Meet Your Future launch event in April 2019
  • Featuring on BBC North West’s Sunday Politics programme

The YCA has recently published its Vision for 2024-26 (see link in 'further information' below). Each of the areas within the Vision document will be discussed during members’ monthly meetings over their two-year cycle, with space for members to generate ideas, campaigns, and influence policy, within these areas.

  • Transport and Active Travel
  • Education, Employment and Skills
  • The Environment
  • Equity, Equality and Inclusion

Working groups

The YCA has also established a number of working groups to focus on particular projects and issues. We currently have an Environmental working group, that meets monthly, and a Task and Finish group focusing on the YCA’s work with the MBacc

Previous groups have included:

  • Curriculum for Life Working Group: formed to contribute towards the formation of Greater Manchester’s Curriculum for Life, a plan to address gaps in skills and learning and equip young people for life by working with schools, colleges, youth clubs, as well as employers across the city-region
  • Health Working Group: with a particular focus on mental health and the environment, the group informed the priorities of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Board and planned a Health Conference for 137 young people

We are always looking for interested young people to join the working groups. If you are interested, please email   


The YCA is made up of 29 youth groups: 10 are the Youth Councils of Greater Manchester; 19 are organisations that represent young people from a diverse range of identities and backgrounds in our city-region.

Each organisation nominates two young people to represent it – making a total of 58 members. Each member is aged between 11 and 18 (or up to 25 for those with additional needs) and serves for up to two years.

The current member organisations of YCA are listed in the table below. The table contains links to external websites.

Name of organisation 
Bolton Youth Council
Bury Youth Council
Manchester Youth Council
Oldham Youth Council
Rochdale Youth Council
Salford Youth Council
Stockport Youth Council
Tameside Youth Council
Trafford Youth Council
Wigan Youth Council
42nd Street
BE THE CHANGE youth project CIC
Blossom Foundation Organisation
Caribbean & African Health Network
Change The Youth NW
Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force
HideOut Youth Zone
KYSO Project
Manchester Youth Zone
One Manchester
Positive Steps
St John Ambulance
Syrian community council
The Proud Trust
Water Adventure Centre
Youth Leads UK


Contact the Youth Combined Authority

The YCA is facilitated by Youth Focus North West (external website). To get in touch with them, email Hannah on

You can also get in touch with the group by emailing

You can keep up to date and get involved with the Youth Combined Authority by following us on Twitter (external website) and Instagram (external website)

Further information

YCA Vision - 2024-2026 (PDF, 4.77MB)

YCA Vision - 2024-2026, (Accessible Version, 247KB)

YCA Annual Report 2022-2023, (PDF 283KB)

YCA - Terms of Reference, (PDF, 276KB)

YCA Vision 2022-24, (PDF, 4.7MB)

YCA Vision 2022-24 (Accessible ODT, 19KB)

YCA Report January 2020 to December 2021 (PDF, 8.9MB)