Welcome to our website,  which aims to connect people in 
Manchester and Salford with histories and heritage of
childhood and youth through archival sources, personal stories
and memories, and community engagement. Many of the
activities it records are based on participatory and
collaborative approaches which use childhood and leisure
experiences to link older and younger generations and
encourage greater public understanding of children’s
and youth histories.


The website started in 2015 with an AHRC community 
engagement project called ‘Passions of Youth’ which
celebrated the history and heritage of the leisure
passions of working-class young men in their teens
in Manchester and Salford, who worked with historians,
youth and community workers and film-makers to
acquire new skills in historical research, oral history
techniques and film-making.

Young boxers visiting the Archives at Manchester Central Library
Passions of Youth celebrated expertise acquired 
outside formal learning and education through leisure
enthusiasms, aiming to enhance self-confidence and
understanding of local sport histories by
empowering participants to tell their own stories
through creative activities, such as film.


In 2019, Passions of Youth was an international 
Real Impact Award finalist, shortlisted by Emerald
Publishing as an example of Mobilising Research into
Action. The project was featured under 'Heritage through 
the eyes of youth' in Emerald's Real Impact Awards
Showcase book.


Our most recent project, Returning Home, is a community 
engagement project exploring the experiences of ‘delicate’
children from Manchester and Salford who in 1948 were sent
to stay with foster families in Switzerland to improve
their health, part of a postwar humanitarian project
run by the Swiss Red Cross.  Returning Home became
an online resource during lockdown of archive film,
interviews, biographical accounts and family histories
of the visits to Switzerland. This includes Postcards
from the Past
, a series of postcard messages by one
family about what being involved in the project has
meant to them.

Find out more about these projects and other resources
by following the links at the top of the website.