With reports of 45.4% of children in Manchester living in poverty, the necessity to support and provide opportunities for young people across the city is more important than ever before.
Combing dedicated support with Manchester based sports programmes, Michael Carrick Foundation is helping create opportunities where youngsters feel safe, valued and inspired to achieve their full potential.
The fantastic opportunities to play, lead and coach football at Carrick’s Street Reds are undoubtedly the highlight of many children’s week here in Manchester. The free sessions, ran in partnership with Manchester United Foundation, give local youngsters from the age of 8-18, a safe space to have fun with their peers every Monday and Friday evening.
With a supportive and engaging environment surrounding them, participants are encouraged to strive for their goals and reach their full potential, meaning tournament themed nights are always a popular and experience at Carrick’s Street Reds!
In August, participants experienced perhaps the most exciting tournament yet, as they had the opportunity to partake in a project first - a tournament day with youngsters from Newcastle United Foundation’s, Carrick’s Kicks.
This was a special day that united the young members’ love of football, whilst leaving a phenomenal social impact, as many of these youngsters had never had the opportunity to interact with individuals from a different regional community to theirs before. For some, it was even their first experience of travelling on a train.
The day enabled children of different ages, backgrounds and skill sets, to collaboratively work together in a friendly, yet competitive, safe space. Inside the sports hall of Stretford High School, there were engaging and inclusive activities, and outside, competitive football matches taking place on the 3G pitches.
Not only did the participants get to endure a fantastic sporting experience, they also had the opportunity to explore the rich heritage of Manchester United Football Club, with a special tour of Old Trafford – an experience many of these youngsters had only dreamt of.
Supportive and engaging environments like that of the tournament are at the forefront in enabling young people to flourish, and therefore it is no shock that there is a mirrored sense of excitement that surrounds Girl’s Without Boundaries sessions too.
Through our partnership with Lancashire Cricket Foundation, Girl’s Without Boundaries encourages previously disconnected young women aged between 12-16 to re-engage with society and education and all it has to offer.
The girls are invigorated through lessons that combine mixed martial arts, self-defence, and dance. With new skills and flourishing confidence being acquired over the programme, these participants are encouraged to combat their fears - most recently demonstrated with 16 girls from the programme performing their first ever flash-mob in Manchester city centre over the summer!
Following on from the excitement of this public stint, we saw the GWB Summer Dance Competition take place at Lancashire Cricket Ground. This thrilling day further inspired the programme’s participants to reach their full potential within a healthy competitive atmosphere, demonstrating the skills they’d learnt throughout the course of the programme.
Having helped sustain the amazing work done at both of these programmes, the Foundation is committed to ensuring that the youngsters attending are well equipped and can achieve their full potential.
On programme visits last year, it became apparent that some children were missing out as they didn’t have suitable footwear to take part in. After looking into this further, it also became clear that these participants sadly had nowhere to turn to for help.
This was when Carrick’s Boot Room was born!
With 25 drop off points, the first football boot amnesty called upon the wonderful Mancunian public to donate any outgrown or unwanted football or asto boots, that could then be cleaned, re-laced and redistributed to children in need.
691 pairs of boots were distributed to eager-eyed sports enthused children at 15 local giveaways across the city. As a result, all children now attending Foundation sessions have suitable footwear, which enables them to take part to the best of their ability and strive for success!
However, it doesn’t stop there. With new participants joining sessions regularly, and children outgrowing their boots every 6-12 months, the campaign needs to be sustained on a yearly basis.
Therefore following last year’s success, Carrick’s Boot Room is back for the second consecutive year and is ready to reach more children than ever before. To do this, we’ve grown our presence in Manchester whilst also expanding to Tyne and Wear, another place close to Michael’s heart.
Every child deserves to feel included and this project ensures children have the confidence and courage to play the game they love, in a safe, well-fitting pair of boots.
If you have any spare boots, why not bring them along to one of our designated drop off points.
You can find a full list of sites on our website!