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Ryan Giggs at the Lower Kersal Centre

Ryan Giggs visits Community Centre

Manchester United star Ryan Giggs took time out this week to visit Lower Kersal Community Centre in Salford as part of the Creating Chances ‘Places for Players’ initiative.

| by James Marshall

Ryan Giggs visits Community Centre

Ryan visited the centre after it was announced the winner of the Premier League Creating Chances award by Manchester United.

Looking around all of the activities they offer to raise their profile, Ryan dropped in on a psychology adult learning lesson, said hello to a pottery group and met a Spanish class eating Tapas. Other parts of the centre have benefited from the funding of a £4,000 donation from the Premier League. The drop in crèche has been revamped whilst other money will be spent on improving attendances.

The main objective of the visit was to increase the number of young males aged 16-25 to take part in activities such as NVQ qualifications in English and Maths to gain employment and reach their potential in the future. Jane Passmore, centre manager said: ‘Many of these young men spend a lot of their time just on the streets or at home, so we want to offer them an alternative life.’

Local youngsters were treated to a training session with Manchester United Foundation coaches and Ryan was asked questions about his football career.

Growing up in nearby Swinton, Ryan was familiar with the area. He was impressed with the facilities and found the donation had made a massive difference to the centre.

'It’s an impressive facility and they cater for all ages here. There are so many different activities and subjects available, which is great for the people in the community here. '

The crèche facility is great. It’s hard to get babysitters but this means people can come here, take a course and know their child’s being looked after. It’s really important, and money well spent.

'The kids were great, although I think some of them may have been undercover reporters! They were asking some tough questions. It was great to see the interest they have in United and the impact United has on these communities.'

‘My work with UNICEF goes far and wide, all around the country, but the Foundation does a lot of great work in the local community. I grew up in Salford, so it’s great for me to come back to places like this and hopefully make an impact and raise awareness. These places need money and it’s great that Creating Chances can give money to centres like this.’

The Manchester United Foundation is involved in selecting the winners for Places for Players.  John Shiels, chief executive at the  Foundation explained why the centre stood out from the others.  He said:

'We chose the Lower Kersal centre because they understand the power that football has to get young people back on track and back into education.  As a result of today's visit two of the young lads who came, initially just to see Ryan, have actually signed up for courses.  That is fantastic!'

This is the second season the programme has been running. It joins together every Barclays Premier League club in a high profile initiative that uses star players to highlight the diverse and sheer quantity of community and good cause work carried out throughout the year by the 20 clubs.