Groups from the six schools from across Manchester visited the Carrington site to be presented with certificates from Red defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones and were also able to grill the players in an open question and answer session.
Jay Hansbury from Stretford High School was selected to attend the session as a reward for the vast improvement in his behaviour. He commented, “My behaviour was kind of bad but working with Chris and Philippa from the Foundation has helped me to improve and think about the choices I make in school.”
Following the meet and greet, Chris Smalling said, “It’s great to see pupils who have done well at school and be able to celebrate their achievements and reward them.”
A teacher from Stretford High School added, “Today has had a great effect on the students; they’ve been looking forward to it all week and hopefully it will entice them to behave better at school knowing that there are rewards like this for good behaviour.”
He continued, “It’s a great opportunity to be able to work with the Foundation. Obviously the name ‘United’ is massive and it’s good for the kids to have heroes that they can look up to, that will hopefully inspire them to be positive in whatever they do in school or otherwise.”
Astley Sports College, Burnage Media Arts College, Irlam and Cadishead College, Manchester Enterprise Academy, Manchester Health Academy and Stretford High School are all part of the Foundation’s Hub of the Community project, which provides full time Community Development Officers to work with young people at the school and with the primary schools in the surrounding area. The structure allows long-term relationships to be built between our coaches and teaching staff, children and parents, meaning that we have first-hand knowledge of the issues relevant to them.