Previous Projects

Happy Families
(Health and Personal Progress for Young People and Families)

HAPPY Families

Health and Personal Progress for Young People and Families funded for 4 years until October 2017

This is our new programme funded by the National Lottery Big Lottery Fund.

Health, Awareness and Personal Progress for Youth and Families (HAPPY Families)

Not in Good Health

1.5 times the Manchester average
4 times the national average


1.5 times the Manchester average
4 times the national average


2 times the Manchester average
8 times national average

Health Fact Sheet Miles Platting and Newton Heath

The Youth Forum spent 6 months working on the ‘In My Back Yard’ project, researching need in their community. Their November 2011 report showed lack of access to fruit and veg in the community – Miles Platting has previously been deemed a food desert with a food market planned for 2006: The market was never established – and a strong desire for whole community events, particularly around healthy eating, and space to grow own produce. 2009 GCSE results show 11.6% of young people in the ward achieve no qualification at GCSE compared to 5.5% in Manchester and 1.4% in England 2009 residents’ survey shows consumption of 5 fruit & veg daily is 18% below Manchester average of 21% and England average of 30%. 27% report not being in good health compared to 17% for Manchester and 7% for England.

We undertook an issues survey of young people in April and May 2012, which showed over half of young people worrying a lot or sometimes on many key issues. Consultation event in May 2012 with young people and parents that looked at our initial proposal and discussed their involvement.

manchester canal

Manchester’s Children and Young People’s Strategic Plan 2010-12 emphasises the need for health provision, cooking skills, parenting skills, diverse issue-based work and better engagement with young people and families. Council Ward Plans recognise need for high quality youth provision.

Our Youth Forum have been part of the process identifying the need and design of HAPPY Families. They conducted two surveys, the first during our community event called Winterlicious as part of their In My Backyard project. This showed that only 10% of people use fruit and veg daily, 50% felt it wasn’t easy to get affordable food locally, 93% felt community relations were not good, 60% agreed it would be a good idea to bring the community together more often and 50% liked the idea of more community supper events run by YPAC. The Community event also involved organisations including Adactus Housing, Zest Health Project from Manchester City Council, Family Action and 3 Local Councillors. They were particularly supportive over healthy living and participation work.

The second survey was from April to May 2012 exploring further areas of need within the community. This helped identify issues which young people were most concerned about. They emphasised that the project should focus on improving career opportunities and aspirations; physical and sexual health; personal safety; dealing with caring responsibilities, particularly looking after parents; self-esteem relating to appearance; and celebrating diversity and challenging discrimination.

Following that, the proposal was drafted. A final consultation event was held in June/July 2012 and reviewed the project with 20 young people and 15 adults, some who had been involved previously and some less so. They also indicated which parts of the project they would definitely or probably get involved with. For all elements of the project, over 50% indicated they would get involved. In addition 20 said that they would consider helping run activities and managing the project.

Fruit and Veg consumption as recorded in 2006 (5 a day)

18% MP&NH | 21% Manchester | 30% England

HAPPY Families Aim
For young people and their families to be healthy and prosperous, have a positive view of their future, live in a cohesive and vibrant community, have a strong communal voice and enjoy diverse experiences and increased social mobility.

Key questions we will be exploring are:

  • What enables beneficiaries to eat and live more healthily and be confident that they can do so?
  • How beneficiaries can improve skills to access work and be more confident to do so?
  • How beneficiaries can improve their local environment and be happier living here?
  • How families can improve relationships and effectively address problems?
  • How beneficiaries can become more confident of making positive life choices?

What we will do.

Awareness campaign, promoting healthy eating/living to families; Monthly Cardio and Cook event with families coming in for exercise sessions, preparing and eating together; Weekly fitness group focussing on dance and accessible fitness training and community walking.

Allotment Project for people 16+ to learn about growing their own food; Community Cafe, from year 2, starting monthly, run by local people with local produce. Twinning with a rural community and their Britain in Bloom project.

Weekly employability project for 16 to 25s developing skills around careers, self-employment, social enterprise and helping people access training, apprenticeships and other opportunities.

healthy eating food

Run accredited qualifications linked to employability project in Personal Well-Being and Progression.

YPAC Young people developing as a group and volunteers, and leading a weekly youth group addressing issues facing themselves and their peers with a 10 point curriculum – Social, Sport, Arts, Culture, Social Action, Leadership, Identity, Health, Environment, Careers; A focus on multi-faith and cultural awareness.

Home visiting and work with families to improve relationships, give information and advice and advocate with schools and other services; A Parenting of Teenagers course and Parents’ group.

Steering Committee

Established to oversee the HAPPY Families project. This will include young people from the Youth Forum, parents, community members and partners/agencies.

The project plan is designed to provide a sustainable platform beyond the four years. The vision for the steering group will be to evolve into a partnership ensuring there is an integrated approach for community groups in Miles Platting to develop ideas, projects, seek further funding to ensure momentum and longevity and work as an umbrella organisation looking to the future of Miles Platting and its neighbours.

This will provide a funding platform to allow HAPPY Families to evolve and continue addressing the needs of the young people and local community.


  • Young people aged 12-25 living in the Ardwick Deanery of Manchester, and adjoining areas, who need support on a range of issues, during transition years into High School and from compulsory education into education employment and training.
  • Parents who need support in their relationships with young people to improve their achievements, safety, health and social mobility.
  • People who wish to improve their health and the local environment.
  • Organisations who support young people such as Adactus Housing and St George’s Youth and Community Centre.
  • Local secondary schools who have an interest in improving behaviour, attendance and achievement.