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Chief Executive Officer

The Factory Youth Zone 1
Harpurhey, UK
Closing date
30 Jan 2021

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Would you like to enable young people growing up in challenging and dynamic environments to feel inspired, supported, happy and safe? Do you want to be the change? And proud to work for an organisation that in 2019, was named 'North West Charity of the Year'?

We're seeking an exceptional individual to take up the reins as CEO to enable Manchester Youth Zone to continue to provide and build on the high standard of provision it's developed over the years and lead the organisation as it enters a new phase 'post Covid-19' and beyond.

Talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. Since our beginnings in 2012, when we were established as an independent charity under the OnSide Network, we have had one simple belief, that all young people should be able to access the same opportunities. Our charitable aims are to provide young people aged 6-19, up to 25 with additional needs, with the tools to raise their aspirations, enabling them to choose a positive, independent lifestyle by offering: 'Somewhere to go, something to do, and someone to talk to.' We continue to be a member of the OnSide network and seek to learn from other similar organisations.

The breadth of what we do has expanded dramatically since we began working in North Manchester - we continue to offer a safe space for young people to thrive, whilst simultaneously creating links across the city, ensuring that North Manchester is recognised for all the right reasons, highlighting the issues surrounding child criminal exploitation across the region and implementing programmes which have a significant impact in reducing the vulnerabilities of young people. In these strange times we have taken our delivery online - offering a 'Virtual Youth Zone'. What separates us from most Charities is our Northern soul, our Manchester grit, perseverance, persistence and our inability to accept defeat. We are relentless in our pursuit of a level playing field for all young people and we won't stop until we get there.

Importantly, Manchester Youth Zone acts as the "Prime Contractor and Accountable Body" for the North Manchester Youth Partnership - a cohort of organisations with the objective to ensure that there is a co-ordinated youth and play offer across North Manchester, and an aim to attract other funding to North Manchester to enable the partnership to address issues that prevent young people realising their potential. Last year this amounted to around £350,000 of resource being made available. The approach is a real partnership of action and thought, and Manchester Youth Zone plays a critical part in articulating the needs of young people in this place-based approach and in working with other partners to design and deliver solutions.

At the heart of what we do is our passion to make a difference for young people and to inspire them to become part of the success story which is Manchester. We are only 3 miles from the city centre, yet a significant number of our young people do not feel connected to the city. In all that we do, we seek to align young people, who are often the most marginalised with the opportunities that are available to them, with the right support - raising aspirations and hopes for their futures.

MYZ is based in Harpurhey, a ward rated 2nd in England for the effect of long-term deprivation on children and young people. Many in the surrounding area are vulnerable and living in challenging circumstances, often with poor role models and with low expectations about what life will bring, as evidenced by the statistics below:
  • 16.2% unemployment (national average 7.5%)
  • 48% families live below the poverty line
  • 11% of 16-18-year olds are not in employment, education or training

We expect all of these statistics to worsen, probably very significantly, as the country starts to face up to the economic challenges presented by the pandemic. The demand for our services has increased, just as we are most pressed to ensure our survival. The crisis has magnified the needs of young people, presenting increased; wellbeing concerns, loneliness and isolation, disconnect from education and a lack of trusted relationships.

This unique moment in time requires a CEO to lead a committed team, and support them in testing new ways of working, providing opportunity for unprecedented innovation, responsiveness, creativity and imagination and for learning that can inform long-term change.

Our Youth work offer is multi-faceted and covers:

Centre based youth work - Offering universal youth and play provision to young people aged 6-19 and up to 25 for those with additional needs. We open each evening to provide young people with "Somewhere to do, something to do and someone to talk to"

Targeted work - In responding to the safeguarding needs of young people in North Manchester, since 2014 we have developed work combating child criminal exploitation, working with partners to develop early interventions models. We are proud of our achievements as a leader in this field, but we are aware that we need to do more to protect our young people, first class safeguarding practice is at the heart of all we do.

Careers and Enterprise - We see only too often the scarring created by years of unemployment on the young people we work with. Our Careers Advisor and Enterprise Youth Workers strive to raise the aspirations and careers horizons of our young people to be the best they can be.

Family work - We know that if a young person is to be successful, they need the support of their family. For the last three years we've offered Holiday Hunger provision for young people, and food interventions for families.

Community provision - Our Café for young people on our evening sessions becomes a community café during the day, which is used by the community for lunch and meetings. We are also a SafeZone offering young people wellbeing support from qualified practitioners. Joe Gallagher's Boxing Academy is based with us during the day offering young people education programmes which are sports based. We are also the I-Thrive hub for North Manchester with health staff based at the youth zone.

If you're passionate about developing exceptional provision which provides young people with an exceptional service, we'd love to hear from you!


  • To ensure MYZ provides activities and services which meet the needs of our young people.
  • To act as an advocate for young people and ensure that their voice is reflected in youth and play provision across North Manchester and the wider Manchester community.
  • To provide a clear strategy which inspires MYZ's team, partners and supporters, embodying its values at all times through personal example.
  • To secure the long-term financial sustainability of MYZ and youth and play provision across North Manchester.
  • With the Chair, enable the Board to fulfil its responsibilities of governance and to further the charitable purposes of the Youth Zone.
  • To build and nurture external networks and partnerships within the community and spearhead external fundraising and major projects.
  • To work with the Senior Leadership Team to ensure that colleagues feel valued and able to work effectively; inspiring the wider team to meet targets and to understand how their contribution is vital to achieving wider strategic aims.

  • Working with the MYZ Board and team, lead the ongoing development of MYZ's strategy and plan, ensuring the delivery of outcomes for young people and funders.
  • To work at all times within a contextual safeguarding approach. Keeping children and young people safe and addressing principle risks.
  • Ensuring that MYZ operates to meet the needs of young people and the communities in North Manchester.
  • Being an advocate of a "place based" approach to work and funding within a city and Greater Manchester setting.
  • Working with Youth and Play partners as well as other youth organisations to increase the opportunities available for young people and the quality of what is provided.
  • Securing long term financial sustainability for MYZ through the development of a strategy to maximise private, corporate, grants and trust funding.
  • Manage the position of MYZ within the wider youth and play partnership, to be an enabler for all believing in the diversity of provision which gives young people choice.
  • Managing the competing demands of stakeholders in MYZ in a way that achieves the best outcomes for young people, families and communities across North Manchester.
  • Champion the needs of the young people in North Manchester to ensure that systemic inequalities are listened to and addressed - The Chief Executive will lead change.
  • Strategically drive the ambition for young people in North Manchester working alongside partner organisations with an agreed and shared vision.

Vision and Strategy
  • To provide clear leadership and direction.
  • To clearly articulate the Youth Zone's mission, vision and values, reviewing them with others as necessary to ensure clarity and build ownership.
  • To ensure there is a vision for Youth and Play services across North Manchester and a partnership of thought.
  • To act as a source of inspiration to all employees, members, Board members, volunteers, supporters and wider stakeholders.
  • To identify and effectively manage risks.

  • To be accountable for the Youth Zone's fundraising strategy and activities.
  • To seek new sources of income from the private and corporate sector in line with the Fundraising and Development Strategy, working with staff, board members and external organisations.
  • To work with the Fundraising team, inputting into their strategy, assisting with major bids and meeting potential and existing funders where appropriate.
  • To act as an external voice for the organisation - creating and sustaining relationships with the council, the media and government officials in order to advance the organisation's aims.
  • To represent the organisation at external events and publicity opportunities.
  • To support the Fundraising team to diversify income streams, including the effective development of social enterprise as an additional funding stream.
  • To ensure that feedback to supporters and funding bodies is appropriate and of high quality.

  • To ensure the Board is fully informed, supported and challenged.
  • To understand and clearly communicate to Board members and others the views and needs of young people, particularly those who are disadvantaged, in the context of today's society.
  • To support the Chair in maintaining the capabilities and leadership of the Board.
  • To work with the Board in fulfilling the charity's constitutional, regulatory and legal obligations.
  • To provide the Board with comprehensive reports summarising all aspects of MYZ's operational, financial, partnership performance and safeguarding learning.
  • To ensure MYZ is fully compliant with all constitutional, regulatory and legal obligations, especially in the areas of safeguarding, and health and safety.

  • To inspire and manage others to give their best and to uphold the Youth Zone's strong, shared sense of identity, commitment and co-operation.
  • To allocate organisational resources, manage on-going challenges and opportunities and support the senior management team to do likewise.
  • To manage the Senior Leadership Team, supporting them to set targets and strategies and be accountable for their performance.

Finance and Assets
  • To be responsible to the Board for the financial position of the Youth Zone.
  • To prepare budgets for presentation to the Board.
  • To ensure effective financial management including a successful annual audit.
  • To submit regular financial monitoring reports to Board meetings.
  • To be responsible for all the capital assets of the Youth Zone.
  • To ensure proper maintenance and upkeep of the buildings, premises, vehicles and equipment owned or leased by the Youth Zone.

  • To set and oversee the standards of Youth Zone delivery and those of other partners with contracts from MYZ.
  • To ensure the Youth Zone delivers outcomes for young people and funders.
  • To be responsible for the operation of the Youth Zone and all its projects, working with appointed members of staff.
  • To establish and monitor agreed performance measures.
  • To ensure that comprehensive and appropriate policies, covering all facets of the Youth Zone's operation, are developed, maintained and observed.
  • To ensure that excellent policies for safeguarding are in place and are practised.
  • To keep 'a finger on the pulse' across all the Youth Zone's activities and support and guide staff.

Employees and Volunteers
  • To inspire and develop staff and volunteers.
  • To be responsible for all matters concerning the recruitment and employment of staff.
  • To ensure that all legal obligations relating to staff are observed.
  • To oversee the policy with regard to volunteer recruitment and training.


So, what does it take to succeed in this role? We're looking for someone who genuinely wants to make a positive difference in the lives of our young people. The right candidate will be highly proactive, capable of building and developing relationships internally and externally and empowering a committed team.

Experience - Essential
  • Management responsibility for staff and budgets and cash flow.
  • Managing staff teams.
  • High-level reporting responsibility.
  • Board or committee involvement/Charity trustee.
  • Leading, developing and managing partnerships.
  • Fundraising.
  • Safeguarding young people and vulnerable adults.

Experience - Desirable
  • Grass roots youth work (could be voluntary)
  • Working with volunteers
  • A demonstratable network within Manchester.

Skills and Abilities - Essential
  • Excellent leader.
  • Excellent people management skills/ability to get the best from staff.
  • Astute business mind/commercially minded.
  • Well-developed general management skills.
  • Highly competent in financial management.
  • Articulate, numerate and literate.
  • Good public speaker.
  • Ability to create and sustain stakeholder relationships.
  • Ability to work on own initiative and to adapt to changing situations.

Skills and Abilities - Desirable
  • Proven ability to develop a range of targeted services to meet the needs of disadvantaged young people.
  • Proven ability to develop fruitful relations with major funders.

Knowledge and Understanding - Essential
  • Knowledge, insight and awareness of the complex issues affecting young people and innovative solutions.
  • Understanding of the causes of multiple deprivation and the approaches to making early interventions to assist young people and families.
  • A high level of knowledge and understanding around safeguarding - creating safer communities.

Knowledge and Understanding - Desirable
  • Understanding the deployment of a "theory of change" working with young people and youth organisations.
  • Confident in using the media for promotion.
  • Knowledge of how charities operate.

Qualifications - Essential
  • Education to degree level preferably with an additional management qualification.

Qualifications - Desirable
  • A level 5 qualification working with young people.

Personal Qualities
  • Strategic thinker and problem-solver.
  • Evidence of credibility at senior level.
  • Excellent at inter-personal relationships.
  • Ability to manage under pressure.
  • Committed to safeguarding children.
  • Persuasive and approachable.
  • Socially at ease at major events.
  • Passionate, driven and resilient.
  • Self-confident and assertive, but not aggressive.
  • Willing to work unsocial and sometimes long hours.


ONSITE GYM For gym bunnies or fitness fanatics

PAID R&R 25 days paid holiday (pro rata) plus flexible statutory holidays

PENSION 5% employer contribution after your first 6 months, but you pay 5% too...

LIFE INSURANCE We got you covered, fingers crossed you don't need it!

INCOME PROTECTION In case you're under the weather


The main place of work will be the Manchester Youth Zone, Harpurhey, Manchester, although the successful candidate will be expected to undertake such travel as is necessary to fulfil the requirements of the position.

Working hours

The hours of work are those necessary to fulfil the requirements of the position. This will involve working unsocial hours in evenings and at weekends during Youth Zone sessions or at events, as well as working during the day.

Notice period: 3 months

Disclosure and Barring Service Check: In accordance with our Child Protection and Safeguarding procedures, this position requires an enhanced DBS check.

In accordance with our Recruitment and Selection Policy, we are not able to accept applications from current or former members, Young Leaders or regular service users for safeguarding reasons, for a period of at least one year since they last attended Manchester Youth Zone (nee The Factory Youth Zone) in this capacity.

All internal applicants will be guaranteed an interview, though will be assessed to the same criteria as external applicants and so are encouraged to submit a full and thorough application.

The Manchester Youth Zone is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

Application Information

Deadline: Sunday 7th February 2021

Interviews: Week commencing 22nd February 2021

Apply: For more information and to request an application pack, please contact with Nicola Love by email via the button below.
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