MP learns about project at Ashton school led by Manchester United

PUPILS at an Ashton-under-Lyne school have got to meet their MP, who heard about the benefits of a special project being led by a Premier League club’s associated charity.

Year Nine students from Great Academy Ashton are taking part in a Digital Futures Academy run by Manchester United Foundation, which uses football to engage and inspire young people to build a better life for themselves.

Launched earlier this year, it strives to support and empower young people, enhance their career prospects and connect them to opportunities they may otherwise not have access to. The project will support 50 secondary school students over four years.

Angela Rayner MP meets students at Great Academy Ashton

The Foundation will work with its Presenting Partner, DXC Technology, to introduce the students from the Broadoak Road school to professional development skills and technology topics such as automation, security and virtual reality.

The curriculum, co-created by DXC Technology’s digital experts, Manchester United Foundation and a local advisory group, will use mentoring, personal development and practical sessions to build social leaders of the future.

By the end of the programme, students will be supported with pathways into further education, colleges, apprenticeships and employment.

As well as paying a visit to these pupils, Ashton-under-Lyne MP Angela Rayner also met with a group of Year Eleven students who were recently appointed on a leadership programme at Great Academy Ashton.

The pupils were also able to ask the MP, who is also the Labour Party’s deputy leader, some questions about her role.

“It was fantastic to talk to the pupils involved with this project and hear how much they are getting out of it,” MP Rayner said.

“School visits are the best bit of my job and I am always so inspired by how engaged they are with the world around them. It gives me great hope for the future.

“I am so grateful to the Manchester United Foundation and DXC for giving young people within my constituency this wonderful opportunity.”

John Shiels MBE, Chief Executive of Manchester United Foundation, commented: “Meeting Angela has been an insightful experience for our young people to consider how they can transition from becoming a junior leader at school to then making an impact in wider society in years to come.

“The young people asked Angela many intelligent questions and took inspiration from her wisdom and life experiences.”

Head student, Zayna, said: “It was amazing to have the chance to hear about politics in an honest way. For us on the start of our leadership journey, it was a fantastic opportunity to discuss the challenges of women in leadership and gave us inspiration going forward.”

Parisa, a pupil in Year Nine, added: “We loved being able to explain what we have been doing with DXC and Angela was really enthusiastic about the programme. She also explained the importance of being confident and I will definitely use this advice going forward.”

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