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Sir Bobby and Lady Norma Charlton visit Oldham to launch Foundation partner school

Sir Bobby and Lady Norma Charlton recently visited the Kingfisher Community Special School in Oldham to launch an official partnership with Manchester United Foundation.

| by Haylee Blease

Kingfisher is the first primary school to join the Foundation’s partner schools programme, which bases a full-time coach at the school to work with pupils and within the local community to build lasting relationships and reputations. 

The couple were greeted with a special assembly honouring Sir Bobby’s achievements and were presented with a hand painted picture and bouquet of flowers, before celebrating the work taking place within the school and unveiling a plaque to commemorate the partnership with the Foundation.

Sir Bobby and Lady Norma were then invited to take a tour of the school dropping in on a few classrooms before visiting the hydrotherapy pool, which is used to relieve children’s pain, giving them extra stimulus and helping them move in a way that they cannot on land.

The couple also took the opportunity to step outside on a glorious sunny day in Greater Manchester to chat to pupils taking part in physical activity, with Sir Bobby keen to join in a kick-about.  

Foundation Coach Steve Harcourt is based full-time within the school and described the impact of the day on the school: “To get Sir Bobby and Lady Norma down has been amazing, the whole school came in dressed in red which was fantastic to see; it just been a great day for the children.”

He added: “The partnership has been brilliant; across the school the benefits have been huge as the children are now doing physical work every single day of the week.”

Principle Lead Practitioner for Creative Learning at the school, Nicola Found, led the celebration assembly and spoke of her delight at the visit of such special guests: “Today has been really important for the children and the staff as well to show case the wonderful work that goes on and the level of learning the children engage in. Obviously to have Sir Bobby at the school is just lovely, he’s a real legend and an inspiration and I think that feeds back to our children.”

Commenting on the partnership with the Foundation she added: “I think the link with Manchester United Foundation has got a lovely profile to it and it’s been amazing for the children to have another male on board in Steve. He is a great role model for the pupils and is able to link his work with well-being, which is incredibly important to the school.”