Volunteers take Manchester Youth Zone to the next level!

We really believe in the value and power of volunteering.  Our passionate volunteers generously give their time to support and make a positive difference to the lives of young people across the country. The diversity of their backgrounds means they bring a wide range of skills, experiences, ability and interests.  Our volunteers are integral to our success and truly are part of the team. They are at the heart of what we offer to young people – that’s why a culture of volunteering and launcing an enhanced volunteering programme is a great way to celebrate our 10th birthday this year.

Our board of Trustees are also made up solely of volunteers from the private and public sector, who give their time and skills to ensure we thrive.  Our trustees are recruited to fulfil several responsibilities, including fundraising, local engagement, safeguarding and communications. 

Every one of our volunteers strengthen us as a charity at the forefront of exceptional youth work. We couldn’t exist without our volunteers, and we wouldn’t want to either!


Our volunteers come from all walks of life and have a huge range of life experience. Our young people benefit from interaction and support from our volunteer team, and we couldn’t provide our first-class youth provision without them


Our Vision for Volunteering

Our passionate, volunteers help us to support and empower young people in a variety of meaningful ways including:

  • Cooking up a storm in our learning kitchen – helping our young people understand budgeting and nutrition and cooking healthy foods that reflect their identity and cultures
  • Playing kick around on the 3G pitch – supporting young people to be physically active and develop their teamwork and sports skills
  • Being a listening ear and helping young people solve problems in education catch up sessions
  • Getting messy around the art table, noisy in the music room, or dramatic in the drama studio – tapping into their creativity and imagination
  • Creating new products and trying new design techniques in our Makerspace – helping young people think about what it means to start a small business or develop entrepreneurial skills
  • Helping us with community fundraising events and spreading the word about the amazing work we do


There really is a volunteering role for everyone at Manchester Youth Zone and as part of our wider team of other Youth Zones in the Onside Network there are opportunities to be part of a wider national volunteering movement too!

We really believe in the value of volunteering. Our volunteers are integral to our success and truly are part of the team. We encourage our staff and volunteers to work collaboratively to enrich the lives of the young people we serve, as best we can.

Volunteers bring a wide range of unique skills, experiences, and expertise to the table. We recognise that this directly benefits our Youth Zones and strengthens us as an organisation at the forefront of first-class youth work. We couldn’t do it all without our volunteers and we wouldn’t want to either!


Our mission is to create truly meaningful, well supported volunteer roles that directly or indirectly enrich the lives of young people. We want every volunteer to know how their contribution is affecting real change for the young people within their community.


Manchester Youth Zone is committed to ensuring that all of our volunteers have the necessary support to fulfil their role. This includes:

  • Ensuring that all volunteers understand their role and the difference the role makes to the lives of young people
  • Recognising the contributions of our volunteers
  • Ensuring our volunteers are trained and supported to operate safely and with clear boundaries around young people and never left to deal with difficult situations alone
  • Recognising the expansive skill set and valuable experiences of our volunteers and making use of these where possible
  • Providing access to the relevant policies and information for volunteers to perform their role effectively
  • Proving training and ongoing guidance for our volunteers to perform their role confidently
  • Assigning each volunteer a main contact, who will support them through their time volunteering with us
  • Continually investing in our volunteering programme to make sure it is in line with best practice and meeting the needs of the young people who use our youth zone
  • Where possible and appropriate, including volunteers in conversations about the future of the organisation
  • Ensuring that all legitimate expenses are reimbursed in a timely manner
  • Ensuring that our volunteers are covered by our public liability insurance
  • Ensuring that all reasonable steps are taken in order to protect the health and safety of our volunteers

We’re committed to the safeguarding of young people and giving volunteers the support, they need. In accordance with our Child Protection and Safeguarding procedures, all volunteering opportunities require an Enhanced DBS check, and all our volunteers are fully trained, with support on hand whenever it’s needed. If you would like to get involved, click below to learn about volunteering opportunities

Young Leaders

If you’re aged 14-19 (or up to 25 with additional needs) you can join our Learn2Lead programme to become a Young Leader!

This 12 week course will help you develop leadership and communication skills, and is a great opportunity to work with like-minded people and meet new friends!

We are always looking for young people who are interested in volunteering, fundraising, offsite trips, and social action. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, you can find out more by clicking the button below.

young people with bee

Apply to be a Volunteer

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, please click here

Frequently Asked Questions

Please take a look at our volunteer vacancies page here; from there, you’ll be able to browse the roles we have available and, if there’s one that interests you, start your application. 

If you have a specific skill you think our young people would benefit from, please take a look at our Specialist Skill Volunteer role!

For most of our roles we just ask that you’re passionate about helping young people and there is no prior experience needed! However, there are some roles where we’ll be looking for someone with a particular skill or qualification. Each role description will specify what skills are needed, if any are needed at all.

Absolutely! While it’s beneficial if you have some experience working or volunteering with young people, this isn’t essential. We all need to start somewhere, and we’d love to support you in your first role alongside young people.

As a volunteer you will not be contracted to any time commitment. That being said, each role comes with a “suggested time commitment” that we hope you’ll be able to fit into your week. There is always flexibility within any suggested commitment so please have a chat with us if you’re not able to offer the full amount.  

We ask that all of our volunteers are at least 18 years of age, unless they’re a Young Leader Volunteer (which is only open to Youth Zone members).

Generally speaking, this shouldn’t stop you from volunteering. However, we would ask that you check the terms of your visa and demonstrate your eligibility to volunteer during the recruitment process.

Volunteering rarely affects benefits but there is some really helpful information on the NCVO website

The application process for most roles will require you to come in and meet with us for an informal interview. This will take around 45 minutes and will be held by the Volunteer Manager and a member of the team involved with the specific volunteer role (i.e. Sports Youth Worker for a Volunteer Sports Youth Worker role).

You can expect a clearly defined role within our Youth Zone, a volunteer management specialist you can go to for support and a sessional main contact who will assist you throughout your volunteering journey. You’ll be provided with training, ongoing support and feedback throughout your time with us so that you can develop your skills. As well as this, we’ll ask for your feedback, whilst utilising your skills/experience and continually appreciating your contribution.

As a volunteer you can leave your role at any time. However, if you intend to leave, we’d ask that you give us as much notice as possible so that we don’t have any gaps in our services for Young People.

Most of our roles do require volunteers to come into the Youth Zone. However, we do have some roles that require visits less often and some administration tasks which can be done from home. The location of each role will be stated on the respective role description.

We reimburse any incurred during your volunteering with us. All expenses need to be claimed back, using a valid receipt and in compliance with our expense policy; but don’t worry, we’ll go through all of this during your induction!




All of our volunteer roles require an enhanced DBS check. A criminal conviction will not necessarily prevent you from becoming a volunteer; the decision will depend on the type of offence and its relevance to the volunteering role. If you do have any unspent convictions, please include details in a sealed envelope send to the Youth Zone marked for the attention of Catrin Ahern.





If you’re aged 14-19, you can take part in our Young Leaders programme. If you’re over 18 years old, you can apply to be a Volunteer.

Yes we do. Please visit our supporters page for more information, or contact our Volunteer Manager by email catrin.aherne@manchesteryz.org to receive a copy of our quarterly corporate opportunities and information about the processes

Yes you can! Approximately 10% of our members identify as having a disability or additional need, and representation is really important to us. Please do let us know at your interview of any reasonable adjustments so that we can support you.

We do offer placements, but these are organised through local universities and are extremely competitive.  Please speak to your placement tutor or contact our volunteer manager by email catrin.aherne@manchesteryz.org

When we are notified that a volunteer is pregnant, we carry out a risk assessment to see if the volunteer role they want to take on is safe for them to do so. If we feel the role poses too many risks, we may be able to make some adjustments or suggest another volunteer role.

This will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Please contact our volunteer manager by email catrin.aherne@manchesteryz.org to discuss this further.

Catrin Ahern

Catrin Ahern

Workforce Development Manager