Posted: 03 March 2014

'Listening to kids so they have a voice is really important'

Late last month, a young person and our project workers who work with her and hundreds of other young people in Greater Manchester met one of the city’s councillors, Sheila Newman. They discussed support available for young people in Manchester. 

Part of the Manchester City council’s executive team, Councillor Newman has oversight of services supporting children who go missing, children in care and young carers. She takes decisions that affect all children in the city.

After being appointed to the cabinet in October, Sheila wanted to visit our offices to learn more about the work of The Children's Society in Manchester.

'It made me think about wanting to be a politician!'

Councillor Newman met Hayley, a young person we support through the our children's rights service and a member of the group of young people in Greater Manchester helping us to drive our new way of working in the region.  

They talked about why Newman became a politician and the importance of children's rights to helping young people find their voice.

Hayley said afterwards: 'Listening to kids so they have a voice is really important. It made me think about wanting to a politician!'

Hayley also left the meeting with a promise to become Programme Manager for Manchester as part of Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day 2014.

Our work with local authorities 

After meeting Hayley, Newman spoke with 7 staff who run services out of the centre, which is home to our Hope Young Refugees work, which supports children aged 11-19 seeking to rebuild their lives in Manchester and our Safe in the City service that works with children and young people who go missing.

Our staff spoke to Newman about the variety of work done in project ranging from parenting support, one to one support and group work with young people.

Working with local councils to keep young people safe is crucial.  That is why we encourage councils across the country to sign our Runaways Charter, to make sure councils take steps to count, think, act and prevent children running away. Manchester City Council, with almost 1000 young people running away every year, was one of the first councils to sign the charter.

Over 40 councils have now pledged their support, but we still have further to go.


What you can do next

Has your local authority pledged to uphold our Runaways Charter? Find out – use our map.

By Lucy Capron - Policy team

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