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First-teamers make Christmas decorations with local pupils for charity

Students from Manchester Enterprise Academy have had a busy Christmas this year, making decorative initials as part of a Dragons’ Den-style project to raise money for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. 

| by Rebecca Mee

The year nine group from the Foundation partner school worked with the employability and skills team to develop a product with the aim of raising funds for a local charity of their choice. The students, along with some sixth formers, made festive letters to sell within school and the local community and raised an impressive £843 for the children’s hospital

The group also had a helping hand when they were invited to Old Trafford for a special workshop with Manchester United first-team players. Tahith Chong, Fred, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Lee Grant, Mason Greenwood, Sergio Romero, Brandon Williams, Nemanja Matic, and Timothy Fosu-Mensah took the time to make their own Christmas initials, signing them for students to later raffle off. Marcus Rashford also joined his teammates in signing the letters for the Wythenshawe students.

Chloe, 15, said: “When the players came in it gave the team a boost and it helped us to sell more letters for our charity. It was just really fun to meet the players and how willing they were to help us. They were really funny how they were in a competition with each other to make the letters.”

She continued: “It’s a really good charity; there are many children out there that need medical support and it’s just a nice thing to do. I’ve also learned organisational and leadership skills, and to be a part of a team. It’s been really fun to work with everyone on this project and will help me when I’m older.”

Ayesha, 15, also expressed her delight at meeting the players: “I was really surprised; they were extremely nice and the quality of the letters they made was really good.”

Ten schools from across Greater Manchester and East Cheshire took part in the challenge with Manchester Airport Group, generating a hugely impressive £14,135 for good causes between them.

Lauren Garner, employability and skills coordinator at Manchester United Foundation, said: “They’ve been absolutely fantastic as a group of young people who can take an idea and develop it; they’ve also been marketing it and come up with a price point. They’ve even had the confidence to go over and meet Manchester United players and show them how to make the items themselves as well.”

Lauren concluded: “Taking these ideas outside of the classroom into another forum gives the pupils the opportunity to build on their communication skills and the confidence in meeting new people and will be huge for their futures.”