Inspiring Generations: renovating cricket clubs across Greater Manchester

19 July 2022 | All News

Lancashire Cricket Foundation, Cheshire Cricket Board, the England and Wales Cricket Board and Chance to Shine have partnered with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and its ten local councils to create and deliver a 10-Point Action Plan for cricket in Greater Manchester, with VIY set to deliver one of its key actions.

The Inspiring Generations strategy, running from June 2022 until December 2024, has been put in place to use cricket to improve young people’s lives and create stronger, healthier communities in Greater Manchester.

One of the first programmes to break ground on one of the strategy’s key outcomes is a suite of VIY projects helping to equip young people for life through volunteering.

VIY will deliver 30 projects renovating grassroots cricket clubs in 10 priority areas across Greater Manchester, providing employability-boosting opportunities for local young people not in education, employment or training, or at risk of disengaging from mainstream education and/or becoming unemployed.

The first project we’ve completed is at Stalybridge Cricket Club, where VIY and 15 young volunteers from Active Tameside have built a brand new decking area to invite more local cricket spectators to enjoy games and to support the club’s financial sustainability and newly renovated hospitality facilities.

Keith Bowers, Secretary, Stalybridge Cricket Club was thankful of the effort and said, “Stalybridge Cricket Club would like to thank VIY and the team for their time and effort on this project. We would not be able to afford the time, labour or materials to complete such a project. The juniors, parents, spectators will benefit massively having a fantastic seating area in a sunny spot. We also know we have hopefully helped some young people on the right track to developing new skills that will help them on a career path.”

One of the youngsters involved was 15-year-old Khylam from Stalybridge who said: 

I really want to work in demolition when I am older and I have learnt skills here that I wouldn’t have been able to if the project wasn’t available. Everyone has been good to me and am enjoying every minute of it.”

Meanwhile Francisco, aged 16, was also full of praise for the project and said:

“I have been involved throughout and it is really rewarding to see the whole thing come together. I really enjoy being outdoors and have taken part in the drilling, painting and building.”

Other key VIY partners include Sport England, who will match-fund the renovation projects to improve the cricket club facilities, along with Travis Perkins and Dulux who will donate many of the materials needed to deliver the projects.

Sandy Mitchell, Head of Community Growth at Lancashire Cricket Foundation, said:The project is a great example of how this strategy will be used to make a positive difference to individuals and communities through cricket. As the first of 30 VIY projects across Greater Manchester I look forward to seeing the impact they have on both the young people they support, educate and train and the cricket clubs themselves.”

Gareth Moorhouse, Clubs and Participation Manager for Cheshire Cricket Board, said:Stalybridge Cricket Club are a club very much at the heart of their local community, so it was fantastic to see them involved in a scheme that gives life and employability skills to the next generation. Together with the trade mentors, the young people have built a fantastic social space that will benefit the club and its members for many years to come. Huge thanks to VIY for their input and we look forward to working with them on future projects across the region.”