A CHARITY which aims to lift people out of poverty is working with the University of Salford to help transform lives.
The Broughton Trust works with underprivileged residents of Broughton, Kersal and Irwell Riverside in Salford, districts which are in the top 5% most deprived in the country. The charity provides courses and other educational opportunities with the aim of getting more people into employment, raising aspirations, strengthening community infrastructure and creating developmental opportunities for young people.
The University of Salford helps provide training and legal advice to the charity and other support for its activities.
Among the many people helped by the Broughton Trust and its chief officer Mike Thorpe, is Alison Saunders. Alison had a difficult childhood, brought up in a dysfunctional family, she found herself on the streets at 16 after leaving school with no qualifications, and in an abusive relationship. She also had problems with drugs. But thanks to the charity she now has a home, career and settled family life with her two children and partner.
Alison, 39, said: “Mike is my angel, there is no other way to describe him. He transformed my life by having faith in me and making me see my own potential. I completed a course in flower arranging run by the trust and I got a certificate at the end. It was the first certificate I had ever been given and it inspired me. I did every course they had after that.
“I was in such a bad place but he signed me up for courses and really boosted my self-confidence. So much so that I was able to get a degree from Salford and completely turn my life around. I was heading for a life as a drug addict on benefits but that all changed thanks to Mike and the Broughton Trust. They ripped up my script and changed my life.”
Alison now works as a family support worker, helping others who find themselves in a similar situation to herself.
Mike Thorpe Chief Officer at the Broughton Trust said: “Alison is one of our many success stories and we’re really proud to have helped her get where she is today. But there are dozens of other Alison’s in the area and our aim is to help as many as we can.
“Adults in Broughton die on average five years earlier than adults even in in other parts of Salford. This is an area that needs a lot of support
“Our vision is of an East Salford where unemployment is no more than the regional average, where qualification and attainment levels are close to the norm for Greater Manchester, where there is a thriving community infrastructure promoting cohesion, inclusion and sustainability, and where young people can access a range of formal and informal opportunities to help them develop, aspire and overcome obstacles to growth.”
Dr Kevin Kane, Director at the Centre for Social Business at the University of Salford Business School, said: “The University is able to use it expertise to help our local area and it’s something we take seriously. The Broughton Trust does great work and we are proud to work with them.”
To donate to the Broughton Trust go to their website.