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Wes Brown visits Royton and Crompton E ACT Academy to launch safe space hub

The former Manchester United defender helped to launch the hub, which will provide a safe space for students to access outside school hours.

| by Katie Salter

Wes Brown visited Royton and Crompton E-ACT Academy to celebrate the partnership with the Foundation and launch a ‘safe space’ hub for students.

Manchester United Foundation and Royton and Crompton Academy held a celebration event, which saw the official opening of the safe space – named the GCE (Games, Chill-out, Electronics) Lounge by students – plus a practical outdoor football session, and an assembly providing more details about the partnership, including a Q&A with United legend Wes.

The GCE Lounge and ‘Safe Space’ initiative will ensure that Royton and Crompton students have a comfortable social space to go to after school.

Student voice work done by Manchester United Foundation revealed that young people in Greater Manchester currently see a real need for safe places for young people to go outside of school. Inspired by this, the school and the Foundation have worked together to refurbish the community hub that is already on the school site.

The space features a games room complete with pool table and games console, a chill out room where students can relax and socialise and a quiet workspace where students can study and complete homework or coursework. Royton and Crompton is one of 34 high school partnerships at which a Foundation officer is based full-time to work with the students and build positive relationships with the community.

Funding secured through the partnership has also provided gym facilities at Royton and Crompton, as showcased on today’s tour of the Academy.

Andrea Atkinson, Headteacher at E-ACT Royton and Crompton Academy, said: “I want to say a big thank you to Manchester United Foundation for funding the GCE Lounge at the school. It’s brilliant that we can offer students somewhere to hang out and even better that it sits alongside our existing community hub, which the Foundation has also helped us refurbish.

“School is about more than just what happens in the classroom and we are delighted to be able to offer these assets to the young people in our community.”

Wes Brown said: “I always like to come and show my support for what the Foundation does in the community and schools. The communal space of the GCE Lounge is fantastic, especially that it has been designed and developed by the students.

“The facilities across the school are brilliant; it’s very different to when I went to school. It’s great that the young people are so involved and take command of what they need and how to benefit their school and community.”