The Salford Foundation Trust is helping children and young people develop a new passion for sports.

The organisation’s work focuses on providing opportunities to disadvantaged children who would not otherwise have the chance to learn new skills or have to quit their hobbies due to low funds.

They do this by removing the financial barrier for children from low income backgrounds, providing them with a chance to build talent.

Helen Fenton, Trust Project Co-ordinator said; “We have young potential Paralympians, we have young potential Olympic athletes that come to us when they need that little bit of a step up and a bit of extra support.

“But we also have families where they just can’t afford to pay for swimming lessons, it may be that they have had a change of circumstance in their family, so it could be that a parent has passed away or it could be that there has been a separation in the family and therefore there is only one income now.”

All children and young people aged 5-25 are eligible for grants from the charity, with the third round applications for the trust’s grants closing on Friday 1st November 2019.

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The closing date for applications is 5.00pm on Friday, 1st November 2019

The trust also celebrates exceptionally talented youngsters in the program with a number of awards.

Their Len Collinson award is awarded to a young ballet dancer, their Ian Townley award to an elite swimmer and the Eric Simm accolade is granted to those with a specialty in Cricket, Swimming and Performing Arts.

One sports centre where the Trust holds Events

 

Helen explained that; “It could be just a young person that wants to learn to swim and so you’re looking at probably about £175 for the whole year for them to do swimming lessons once a week, I guess costs escalated over the number of years.”

Government figures show that 21% of children in Salford were living below the poverty line in 2016, with 2016 being the late year figures are available in this area.

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In addition to this, 52% of children living in the Salford Crescent station area are in a low income household, this being the highest proportion in the whole of Greater Manchester.

The proportion of disadvantaged children living in the UK as a whole rose from 16.9% in 2015 to 17.3% in 2016.

The Salford Foundation Trust’s aim is to allow the children living in these conditions to still live a fulfilled life out of school time by funding groups which focus on sports and other lifelong skills.

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As well as sports, the trust also focuses on other skills that children and young people may want to develop, from music to gymnastics.

Helen said; “it might be a young person that wants to learn how to play a musical instrument, it could somebody who has got to the stage where they are wanting to go to college and study music and they need that better instrument.

They need that little leg up to get them a better instrument and it is going to be a professional instrument because they will be playing with the Halle or they will be a the Royal College of Music, that sort of level.”

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Image Credit: Claudia Burns

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