Char­ity fight­ing for equal­ity backs M.E.N. cam­paign

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By CHAR­LOTTE COX char­ @ccox­men­media

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.