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Paul Shannon, a longtime supporter of the charity, has committed to another four-year patronage agreement, pledging a £100,000 to support Empower’s developments across Manchester and Salford.

Paul first got involved with HideOut Youth Zone as CEO of Founder Patron ANS Group Limited, before becoming a Founder Patron in his own name. He regularly shows support by attending fundraisers and events, and even interviewed our young people for the ‘What Manchester Taught Me’ podcast series.

Speaking more on his pledge to support our growth, Paul Shannon said:

“Spaces like this are totally invaluable. I grew up in a deprived area of Warrington and there was nothing like this at all, not on any scale, and now to see places like Harpurhey, then Gorton and now coming to Salford is just incredible.

I think the key strengths of these Youth Zones is that they don’t just focus on having fun. The young people obviously have fun whilst there, but they are also getting careers advice, mental support, help with school, access to tech, drama, music, it’s all there. That’s really important to me.”

The impact of Empower relies heavily on sustained support from its founders and dedicated patrons. Contributions from patrons cover 70% of the annual running costs of the Youth Zone. Additionally, patrons like Paul Shannon bring invaluable opportunities and access for young members, fostering connections with partners and aiding in fundraising and awareness campaigns.

With planning approval granted in 2023, the development of the state-of-the-art Salford Youth Zone (SYZ) is now underway, with plans to open in the summer of 2025. SYZ promises to usher in a new era for the city’s youth, offering educational, recreational, and developmental opportunities in a safe and inclusive environment. This initiative aims to empower young people aged 8 to 19, and up to 25 for those with additional needs, operating seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.

Beyond its direct benefits to young people, SYZ holds immense promise for the broader community. With mentoring schemes, job opportunities, and volunteering initiatives, SYZ is poised to become a vibrant hub of activities that will enhance community cohesion and contribute to the overall growth of Salford.

Patronage renewals like Paul Shannon’s offer more than financial support; they are a promise of continued commitment to supporting Manchester’s future generations. Let’s continue to support this vital cause and make sure every young person is provided with somewhere safe to go, something positive to do and someone trusted to talk to.

Are you passionate about empowering young people and building a stronger community? Interested in exploring patronage opportunities or supporting us in any capacity? Please email our Senior Philanthropy Manager, Amanda Coverdale. For more information, please contact