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Manchester United Foundation’s young leaders head to London

Year 10 students from Foundation partner schools Astley Sports College, Irlam and Cadishead College, Manchester Enterprise Academy and New Charter Academy recently travelled the country to meet with some inspirational women as part the Foundation’s United Ambition programme.

Manchester United Foundation’s young leaders head to London

United Ambition is a girls-only leadership programme, the first of its kind being run by a Premier League Club, aimed at developing five key skills of organisation, communication, teamwork, strategic thinking and influencing others. During the 6-month bespoke programme, students take part in a series of workshops and seminars plus work place visits and trips.

During the three day trip the group travelled to Loughborough University to meet with Sarah Holt, a British athlete who specialises in the hammer throw, before heading down to London to meet various key speakers from organisations such as The Football Association and Aon, the Foundations principal partner.

Students also had the opportunity to take in some sight-seeing, including a tour of the BBC Broadcasting House, before joining Kate Green, MP for Stretford and Urmston, to watch a live debate at the Houses of Parliament.

Speaking about the programme Kate said, “It’s fantastic that we’ve got so many girls and women coming to together to develop their leadership skills. It’s great that you get a chance to work as a team and begin to learn how to complement each other’s strengths and personalities as that is what being a leader in all forms of life is like.”

Whilst visiting Aon’s new offices in Central London, students met with employees of the insurance group from Global Chief of Marketing, Phil Clement and his team, to Chief Financial Officer, Christa Davies.

Aon’s Marketing Project Coordinator, Vera Adelmann, met the United Ambition team and praised the programme for offering fantastic opportunities, “I think the programme is great at showing what the girls are capable of doing, and it’s great for them to come to London and meet people here at big companies and learn about our journeys in getting where we are today.”

15-year-old Amy, who attends Irlam and Cadishead College, described her highlights of the trip, “It would have to be going to Parliament and going to the Aon offices as I have thought about going into a business or law career so it was a great experience.”

Manchester Enterprise Academy student, Dariah, also 15, explained how the programme has helped her since she enrolled, ““The programme has developed me a lot because now, even though I still struggle with it, my confidence has grown massively and I feel that I can talk to people and not be afraid that I’m going to say something wrong.”

Assistant Education Manager, Philippa Harrison, attended the trip with the group and believes it has benefitted the girls in many ways, “The trip has seen the girls exceed my expectations on their personal development and engagement. The difference in confidence from the first key speaker events to those in London just demonstrates the distance travelled throughout the programme.”