Charity fighting for equality backs M.E.N. campaign
A PIONEERING youth charity backed the M.E.N.’s ‘We Stand Together’ campaign as it marked its tenth anniversary.
Reclaim was set up to empower youngsters from Greater Manchester’s working class neighbourhoods.
At a special event on Wednesday night its teenage cohort – who strive to be the leaders of the future – met with the city’s top politician.
Greater Manchester mayor, Andy Burnham, joined Reclaim at the KPMG building in St Peter’s Square to celebrate a decade of its work.
The youngsters lent their support to the Manchester Evening News’ ‘We Stand Together’ campaign – which aims to make our city more harmonious. The Reclaim celebration came in the week that the government’s audit of class and race inequalities was published.
The local charity has been working to overcome these problems for years.
Through its programme young people from Bolton, Gorton, Moss Side, Rochdale, Salford and Wythenshawe have led marches, tackled politicians and spoken out about issues that affect their generation, from child sexual exploitation to gang crime.
At the KPMG event the youngsters made a powerful appeal for support for their work. Among them was Precious Adefioye, 15, from Blackley, who said: “Reclaim is about giving a voice to young people from working class communities, giving us the time and effort we need to grow and mature into leaders of the next generation.”
Ogechi IdoyeMichael, 15, from Manchester, said: “Through Reclaim I can have an impact on how the world actually works. “I have had the opportunity to find myself and find things that I am interested in that I wouldn’t have been aware of without them.”
Ruth Ibegbuna, CEO and founder, said there had never been a greater need for their work.
She added: “We are living in dangerous and divided times politically.
“It’s time for serious investment to end the suffocation of opportunities and aspiration that is killing strong working class communities and starving society of the diverse leaders it badly needs.”
Reclaim was founded in Moss Side in 2007 by then-teacher Ruth, and has worked with more than 1,000 young people from Greater Manchester.
Mr Burnham said: “Young people are at the heart of my plans for Greater Manchester and Reclaim is a fantastic example of how young people can shape their futures by making their voices heard.
“The hard work of organisations like Reclaim will make a huge difference to unlocking the talent of our future generations.” Ruth Ibegbuna
M.E.N. reporter Charlotte Cox helps charity Reclaim mark its tenth anniversary