Ex-Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand and his foundation’s wonderful work is helping better the lives of young people in Oldham, Salford and across Manchester as a whole.
Over the past year, the Rio Ferdinand Foundation and The Guinness Partnership have been putting together a vital social initiative aimed at providing opportunities and resources to young people across Greater Manchester, helping them develop their skills and aspirations for future working life.
Now, after a hugely successful 12-month campaign, their skills and progression community programme, participants are well and truly starting to feel the impact, with 90% of those taking part now stating that they are enjoying a clear idea and focus on what they want to do for a career.
It may have be thriving in Salford and Oldham at the moment, but given the benefit the scheme has already had — not to mention the ambition the Rio Ferdinand Foundation has shown around various areas of the UK since being set up in 2012 — we can only see this spreading further across the region.
The skills-based initiative engages young people aged under 25 years old and living in Guinness homes in a six-month skills-based programme which has been up and running in the two Manc boroughs, as well as the London boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth, since March 2022.
Young people from both Oldham and Salford take part in a weekly schedule of activities designed to tackle youth unemployment, including digital media training (photography, product design, filmmaking, podcasting), building and construction, CV workshops, mock interviews and more.
Not only do these shadowing opportunities garner confidence and raise aspirations among other young people in the local community, but they also help directly develop their employability skills via mentoring.
For instance, Matthew, 19 from Royton in Oldham, completed the programme and then was supported to apply to the Guinness Aspire Awards to request funding to purchase camera and lighting equipment to help him start a small local photography business. Quality stuff.
Matt says that the scheme “has been an amazing opportunity and has given [him] a chance to get back on the right path… I know what I want to do now and can’t wait to start… I would recommend that other people in my position get involved with it in the future.”
As well as markedly increasing participants health and well-being, all 100% of those involved across Salford and Oldham reported feeling more confident, with many now enjoying opportunities with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation’s partners such as Warner Music, Kiss FM, The Jockey Club and the Gym Group.
Speaking on the programme’s success, Rio himself said in a statement: “The Foundation is committed to working with young people at the heart of their communities to offer support, training, and opportunities to those that need it… engaging with the Guinness Partnership has provided a great boost to our reach and our work”.
Well in, Rio. Thankfully, he isn’t the only ex-Manchester-based footballer still trying to make a difference in the local community either:
Featured Image — Supplied/Rio Ferdinand (via Instagram)
TfGM confirms Metrolink strikes have been called off this weekend
Metrolink strikes that were planned across Greater Manchester this weekend have now been suspended, it has been confirmed.
With the tens of thousands of people heading to some of the biggest events in the city’s cultural calendar this weekend preparing for significant disruption due to planned industrial action on the Metrolink network, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Unite has now confirmed that these strikes have been called off.
Strike action was planned by Metrolink staff who are Unite members after the union said they “are angry” at only being offered a 5% increase on pay for a 15 month period, and proposed to move the annual pay anniversary date back from 1 January to 1 April.
Unite also said that starting salaries at Metrolink are “very low” – with tram inspectors starting from £20,000, drivers from £22,000, and engineers from £26,000.
TfGM had been warning that those making their way to major events, such as Courteeners and Parklife festival at Heaton Park, at Soccor Aid at Old Trafford, as well as to massive gigs the Etihad Stadium and AO Arena, should expect more disruption than normal over the weekend – with tram, bus, and rail services predicted to be “exceptionally busy”.
But now, it has been confirmed that strike action has been called off.
Metrolink said in a statement on its website: The Metrolink tram strike due to take place this weekend has been suspended, [and] services will now run as normal. If you have any queries, we will be available on Twitter from early doors until late in the evening.”
Talks between Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Unite have been taking place all week, and an improved – but undisclosed – pay offer was made yesterday, which will now be put to a vote by the the union’s members, with Mr Burnham taking to Twitter to explain: “I am pleased to say this weekend’s strike action on the Metrolink has been called off.
“I have been working to bring the two sides together and am grateful to Unite and KeolisAmey for reaching agreement on an improved offer that will now be put to members.
It is of course for Unite members to decide whether to accept this offer and we can’t pre-empt that, so strike action is therefore only suspended, but trams will be running this weekend and this is good news for everyone going to Parklife and other big events.”
Addressing the outcome of the talks and the proposed pay offer, Colin Hayden – Regional Officer at Unite – said in a statement: “Unite made it clear from the outset that Metrolink was fully able to make an improved offer and as a result of the intervention of the Mayor that has now occurred.
“Our members will now be balloted on the offer and they will decide if it meets their expectations.”
Despite the Metrolink strikes having been called off, TfGM is still advising that it’s “vital” for anyone heading to events this weekend to “plan ahead wherever and whenever you are travelling”.
Read the latest travel advice for this weekend on the TfGM website here.
Featured Image – TfGM
Family of murdered Salah Adam Eldin, 21, pay tribute to ‘beautiful son and true hero’
The family of Salah Adam Eldin, a 21-year-old stabbed to death in Old Trafford last week, have paid a heartbreaking tribute to a ‘genuine and loving soul’.
Salah sadly died on Wednesday 31 May after he was found with serious injuries on Kings Road.
A murder investigation has been launched, and 19-year-old Demari Adrian Raymond Rose has been charged with murder and possession of a bladed article.
Salah’s family have described him as ‘the backbone of the family’ and described his respectful, kind and caring nature.
They wrote that support has poured in from across the globe, saying that ‘he was so much to so many people’.
In a tribute issued through GMP, his family said: “Salah was the backbone of the family and carried the family through anything and everything. He was our precious, beautiful son and a true hero.
“He was a supportive brother and precious son, a most genuine and loving soul with a big heart. He always found space in his heart to forgive all.
“He was always respectful and had kind words to say for all, everyone who met him wanted to be friends with him and was respected by all people of all ages.
“We are immensely proud of him. The continuous tributes from his friends, as far and wide as Africa, North America, The Middle East, Europe and from every corner of the world as well as here at home in England, his friends coming with heavy hearts and tears of deep sadness.
“Yes, our heart is filled with grief and pain, the reality that we will no longer hear his voice on the end of the phone. We grieve and wait for the day that we will one day all be reunited as a family together again and it will be forever.
“As a family we are able to support one another with the help of the wonderful friends and family that we have in the community and beyond. The support has been immeasurable, with everyone suffering the same pain and loss of Salah. He was so much to so many people. His short time in this world, he has his legacy of being a kind and caring young man and so loved. The amount of people who have reached out to support us, it is overwhelming and yet wonderful at the same time.
“As a mother, I have no words to describe the depth of my pain, grief and sorrow that I am going through, and I wish no mother must experience the layers of sadness and grief that I and Salah’s siblings and family are going through.
“Our lives have changed forever and we thank Greater Manchester Police for doing all they can to get justice and who have been very supportive, and we thank endless stream of friends and the community from the bottom of our hearts for their continuous love and support that they give us.”
Salah’s family have asked for continued privacy while they grieve for their loss.