Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham visited Stockport College to meet students who have worked to find solutions to violent and knife crime.
The students suggested a partnership to be set up between the college and local community support agencies to tackle burning youth issues.
The new partnership between the College and local support services will enhance the college offer by supporting all areas of personal and social development.
Students from the College Equalities Council have presented to local government scrutiny committees about a more collaborative approach to youth issues as part of their research project on the subject of violent crime.
Part of this included choosing a charity to benefit from a series of student fundraisers, the last of which – a raffle for a Man Utd signed football – was drawn on Monday during the GM Mayor’s visit.
A cheque for the final amount of £640 was also presented to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, which was set up to tackle violent crime following the death of 20-year-old Sophie Lancaster that police linked to the ‘Goth’ clothes she was wearing.
As part of the visit, students were able to put questions about youth issues to the GM Mayor.
GM Mayor Andy Burnham commented:
“I want to build a Greater Manchester that instils hope and opportunity in every young person, and we need to listen to and work with them to shape the future they want and deserve. That’s why it was fantastic to meet the students and hear their inspirational ideas for tackling the serious issues that really matter to our younger generation.
“I also want to commend the young peoples’ fundraising efforts for the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. Sylvia Lancaster’s relentless work has already made a massive difference to people’s lives, challenging prejudice, hatred and violence. This money will help build on Sophie’s legacy.”
Stockport College Principal James Scott added:
“We welcome Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to Stockport College to recognise the hard work of staff and students’ fundraising, and commend their efforts in addressing serious issues.
“This new partnership will improve the way we work together in the community to find solutions to youth issues such as violent crime.”
Stockport Council Leader Cllr Elise Wilson and Supt Emma Taylor from Greater Manchester Police also spoke on the importance of student engagement and about the benefits of working together to solve community problems.