The Curzon Ashton home match on Easter Monday was designated as People United Day and the club worked with a group of young people from North Manchester to plan and deliver the event. The project was financed by the European Union’s Youth in Action Funding, administered by the British Council.
The point of People United Day is to celebrate inclusion and acceptance and promote and deliver cohesion in the community. The young people decided to plan a creative exhibition of work which allowed groups of young people to showcase their own interpretation of community cohesion.
These included a photography project run out of Whitemoss Youth & Community Centre which showcased the different range of ages of people across the community by displaying photographs of people aged from five months old up to ninety years old.
Johnny Biggs from Whitemoss Centre said "well done everybody and thanks from all at Whitemoss for giving us the opportunity to showcase this project and giving our children, young people and its’ volunteers the opportunity to attend the Match and to Adrian for driving us to and from the stadium."
There was also a group of young men from Burnage Arts College who wrote and recorded poems which were aired at People United Day so that they could be heard by the 3,071 strong crowd. The day also saw a display from MaD Theatre Company who did a street drama display using a variety of costumes. Rob Lees from MaD said "the kids really enjoyed the day and it’d be great to do something similar when the new ground opens."
Several other groups including families from North Manchester who have taken part in FC United’s Adult Education Courses, LGBT North West and members from the New Testament Church of God took part in workshops creating displays of visual art and made banners which shared a strong message about inclusion. Sharon Thomas from the church said "thank you so much for providing transport to enable our group to get involved on Monday. The double decker bus went down a treat. The young people thoroughly enjoyed it and the weather was glorious. The banner will be taking pride of place at our next youth club session."
All the groups involved came together on the day itself, which was a brilliant success. There were over one hundred different people in attendance from different backgrounds, religions and ethnicities, joining together to enjoy the match and celebrate community cohesion supported by volunteers from the 18-30 Branch.
Very positive feedback was received from those who took part in the project. Evan Barlow from Factory Youth Zone contacted us to say "thanks for inviting us to the People United Day. The staff at the ground were very helpful and our young people thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Hopefully we can build more links with our young people and FC United."
All in all the day was a big success and the possibilities for including more community groups around North Manchester and the city as a whole are very exciting for all involved in the club’s community work. We plan to make next year’s People United Day bigger and better for all involved.