30/01/2013 00:00 AM
Danny Welbeck with Street Reds participants
Danny is right up our Street!Manchester United and England striker Danny Welbeck took time out from the title race last week to visit our Street Reds project, which provides free football for young people across Greater Manchester.
After shaking hands with the youngsters and casting a keen eye over their football skills, Danny joked with them and answered questions about his career at Manchester United, including what it is like to get a team talk from Sir Alex.
Any single kid could make a wrong turn in their life but this project could get you back on your feet.
“The kids were all buzzing after Danny’s visit,” said Chris Noble, head coach at the Ordsall project. “It’s a real inspiration for the kids; it gives them something to aspire to that a local lad, coming from the same background as them, can play for one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
Street Reds provides evening football and alternative activities for 48 weeks of the year in areas that have been highlighted as trouble hotspots and works with young people who are at risk of becoming involved in crime and anti-social behaviour.
“It’s a good occasion for the young kids on this estate and around Manchester where we do these community sessions,” said Danny. “It gives them the opportunity to get off the streets, play a bit of football and to do something that they love.
“I can definitely relate to some of the kids here. Any single kid could make a wrong turn in their life but this project could get you back on your feet. It’s beneficial not just for the young kids but the whole neighbourhood as well. “
Street Reds reaches over 1,000 young people every year and figures show that it has helped to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour by up to a third at the times the sessions run.
Paul Morris, a local parent whose son attends the project, described the benefits that Street Reds has had for the local community in Ordsall.
“My son Paul has been coming here from day one,” he said. “It is brilliant for the kids from the estate round here because there’s not a lot for them to do. If there’s nothing for them to do then they go out and get involved in crime. It’s so easily done. A couple of Christmases back, there was a shooting near here and the lad who did it was from the estate. It’s so easy for this area to get labelled by the press and to get put down but not all kids are like that round here. That’s what is good about United getting involved. Look at all the kids here, they are not bad, there are some good kids and they should be given opportunities.”
Through Street Reds, Paul was inspired to set up a football club for children from the local estate and the team has been a real success.
“From this project, we started our own football team, Ordsall Juniors, for the kids from the estate. So we’ve taken 19 kids off the street and given them something positive to do with their time. This is our third season now and all the players still come down here twice a week. It’s brilliant, they all love football round here. “
Street Reds runs at Fit City, Ordsall, on Tuesdays and Fridays and at other areas across Salford, Manchester and Trafford throughout the week. Click here for further information.