HideOut Youth Zone is a high-quality facility open to all of the young people of the city between the ages of 8 to 19, and up to 25 with additional needs. HideOut is built on the former Gorton baths site at the corner of Hyde Road and Queensland Road.
The Youth Zone provides somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to – something all young people not only need, but they deserve.
It complements and enhances existing provision for young people in terms of available activities. It creates opportunities for more of the city’s young people, many of whom aren’t accessing the current provision.
HideOut Youth Zone engages and inspires young people to try positive new activities and raise their aspirations. The Youth Zone is open 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.
Annual membership for the Youth Zone is £5, with each visit costing young people just 50p.
One critical factor in the success of the OnSide Youth Zone model is the voluntary relationship that exists between the Youth Zone and its members, i.e. the young people that attend do so because they choose to, and never because they have to. This is key to developing positive, healthy relationships between young people and the staff and volunteers – which enables the Youth Zone to deliver high quality, engaging youth work to those that need it most.
It is also vital that the Youth Zone maintains its cover charge of 50p per session. Income from young people only amounts to around 10% of annual turnover but it is important as it creates a sense of value, ownership and equality.
HideOut Youth Zone is a purpose-built facility offering 20 activities every session, including sport, fitness, dance, arts, music, media and self-improvement. The Youth Zone includes a four-court sports hall with facilities for indoor badminton, football, netball and basketball and a separate climbing wall. There is also a fitness suite with the latest gym equipment and an outdoor kick pitch.
The centre includes a kitchen and café area selling healthy food and drink, as well as dedicated areas for dance, music, film, and multi-media, arts and crafts, gaming and DJ-ing, martial arts and boxing.
Manchester City Council, in partnership with local business people, understood the need to bring a Youth Zone to East Manchester. Having seen the Youth Zone model in other towns and cities in England, they wanted to give young people from the area access to a Youth Zone and the benefits it can bring for the whole community.
HideOut Youth Zone is delivered in partnership between local business people, Manchester City Council and OnSide.
OnSide was keen for the Youth Zone to be accessible for all young people across the borough. HideOut Youth Zone is built on the former Gorton baths site at the corner of Hyde Road and Queensland Road and was chosen as the preferred site for the Youth Zone due to its accessibility and transport links.
The annual running costs for the Youth Zone is approximately £1.2million. This includes, for example, staffing costs, equipment, support for volunteers (including DBS checks), insurance, maintenance and utilities. The on-going financial support needed is made up from a mixture of support from the private sector, charitable trusts and grants and members’ entry and membership fees.
HideOut Youth Zone is governed by the Board of Trustees. The Board is private sector-led and is made up of local business people and representatives from Manchester City Council, who as volunteers will ensure this charity delivers for the young people of Manchester. As Chair, Joanne Whittaker leads the board of the Youth Zone. The day-to-day management of the Youth Zone is the responsibility of a small team of paid staff, led by a Chief Executive.
Our greatest strength is our team of dedicated and caring youth workers – who are there for young people every day of the week, however they need them. Whether through a conversation, a project, a game or targeted support, HideOut Youth Zone provices life-changing support that helps local young people to thrive.
One of the major strengths of the Youth Zone is the way young people from different areas and backgrounds are able to mix in a neutral space. Evidence from existing Youth Zones suggests that members will mix with their peers from different backgrounds, as well as with young people from a range of local areas in the borough as long as the offer is good enough.
All Youth Zones provide for young people with a range of additional needs up to the age of 25, through inclusive activities alongside the mainstream offer.
Sessions are adapted for young people with additional needs and are open for a wide range of young people to access; including those with mild learning difficulties, through to those with more complex needs such as visual impairment and physical disabilities.
Young people are given the opportunity to access a range of activities, including boxing, karaoke, arts and crafts, cooking, gaming and much more.
HideOut runs an excusive day each week which is dedicated just for those with an additional need or disability. This is HideOut’s award winning ‘Sunday Club’.
The building itself is accessible to all, including a lift, wheelchair access doorways, sensory room, moveable sinks and hobs in the training kitchen, and even an accessible climbing all.
The impact of other Youth Zones in their local areas has been extremely positive with statistics showing that the Youth Zones have actually contributed towards the decrease in anti-social behaviour.
For example, local police have reported a 77% reduction in anti-social behaviour (ASB) as a direct result of strategic and continued partnership work between Wigan Youth Zone and local police, whilst Harpurhey, in Manchester, has also seen a 51% reduction in ASB since its opening.<br>
Hear from PCSO Robert Smith, who patrols the Harpurhey area of Manchester, about his views of the impact Manchester Youth Zone (Harpurhey) has made on the reduction of ASB in the area: https://www.onsideyouthzones.org/youth-zoness-impact-on-asb-levels
Hear from parents, voluntary sector youth providers and councillors in this short video about why they think Youth Zones are so important to their local areas: https://www.onsideyouthzones.org/changing-perceptions-of-a-youth-zone
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