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Byker Community Trust Enjoys Exclusive Day Out At Newcastle United Training Centre

A group of young Byker residents got the opportunity of a lifetime as they travelled to Newcastle United’s Training Ground for an incredible dream day out this week.

Donated by Newcastle United and Newcastle United Foundation at Christian Atsu’s Black Star Dinner in aid of  charity Arms Around the Child, the auction prize promised a front row seat to Newcastle United’s First Team training, before a very special session with Atsu himself.

Foundation partner, Bell Group, purchased the prize on the night and very kindly chose to donate it to Byker Community Trust.

As Newcastle United Foundation supporters, Bell Group were aware of the engagement the Foundation does in Byker. As part of their commitment to investing within the communities in which they work they wanted to offer the prize to deserving young people from the area, contributing to their aim of leaving a legacy and inspiring people to achieve their goals.

Byker Community Trust, also a Foundation Partner, and the Foundation identified the children from the area to attend – including those who have engaged with Community activities, such as Byker Kicks.

Our participants begun the day with a mini bus ride from Byker to the First Team Training Centre where excitement levels went through the roof as they met Magpies boss Rafa Benitez on arrival.

After a short lunch Bell Group, the Foundation, and Byker Community Trust representatives chatted with the group to explain the work each of the partners carried out and the positive impact the group of young people can have on shaping the future of Byker through getting involved in community activities.

The group also had an opportunity to discuss their community and how they can make a difference.

After that, it was finally time to take to the pitch themselves. The group took part in a training session on the same pitch as their heroes before being joined by Atsu, who posed for photographs, answered questions, and even coached a session with the participants.

Paul Aitkin, Branch Manager at Bell Group, said: “Bell Group is committed to helping young people raise their aspirations and reach their full potential.  This was a brilliant opportunity for us to engage with young people from Byker, reward them for their commitment to the community activity programme through Byker Community Trust and their dedication to attending Byker Kicks with Newcastle United Foundation.

“It was great for the young people to meet such an inspiring role model in Christian Atsu and to hear about all the great work he does to support his community in Ghana through Arms Around the Child.  If we can encourage and inspire these young people to be just as proud of their community and to realise that they can make a difference I think that is really positive.”

Philip Pollard, Director of Operations at Byker Community Trust, added: “I would like to thank Bell Group for the fantastic opportunity these young people from Byker have had today.

“It is something that they will remember forever.  They really deserved to have a fantastic time after engaging so positively in community activities, such as The Big Bike Revival, a World War 1 remembrance event, volunteering at Stepney Bank Stables and Byker Kicks.”

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