Saturday 27th April marked the start of a special partnership between the growing Salford Youth Zone and The Salford Red Devils, with young members from the youth zone taking charge of the matchday proceedings during the clash between Salford and Warrington Wolves.

Leading the charge were members of Salford Youth Zone’s Young People’s Development Group (YPDG), a group already instrumental in naming and shaping pivotal decisions surrounding the identity of the SYZ. They were joined by esteemed guests which included local dignitaries, Empower patrons, dedicated staff, and supporters for day of celebration, sport and an opportunity to raise awareness and vital funds for the city’s newest Youth Zone.

The festivities commenced when members of the YPDG and guests were welcomed into hospitality suites for an opportunity to network and share updates on the progress of SYZ.

YPDG members were then joined by Salford Red Devils players as they visited each hospitality boxes, unveiling the vision of SYZ and rallying support through fundraising initiatives. Meanwhile, down in the Fan Zone YPDG representatives were invited into the Fan Zone Bus for an exclusive interview with match day reporter George Riley, passionately announcing the new Salford Youth Zone, highlighting the work that’s been carried out so far and the opportunities it will create for young people and the local community.

The young people also toured crowds of fans taking in the festival like atmosphere, posing for photos with Red Devils coaches and soliciting donations as part of SYZ’s fundraising effort.

Members of Salford and HideOut Youth Zones were welcome onto the pitch ahead of kick off to perform a guard of honour for the players and match officials. During the half-time break they partook in the exhilarating ‘Bin it to win it’ game where members were able to win up to £200 per shot if they successfully finessed a rugby ball into the bins provided.

The evening wrapped up with YPDG members joining the platinum box for a post-match interview with players as they once more highlighted the newest addition to the city, the group received warn applause from a packed room full of supports and journalist.

Salford Reds have already been working closely with Empower, the charity overseeing both the new Salford Youth Zone and HideOut Youth Zone in Gorton (opened in 2020), along with their sponsor Argyle NW Construction, to provide Manchester’s young people with complimentary game tickets and free transportation to home matches.

Empower Youth Zones is a charity that creates and operates purpose-built Youth Zones for young people across Manchester and Salford, committed to helping them discover their passion and purpose. Empower oversees the running HideOut Youth Zone in Gorton (opened in 2020) and the current development of SYZ Salford Youth Zone.

SYZ will be a state-of-the-art facility offering young people more than 20 activities and a free hot meal per session seven days a week.

The purpose-built Youth Zone is available for those aged 8-19 or up to 25 for those with an additional need or disability, dedicated to providing Salford’s young people with somewhere safe to go, something positive to do and someone trusted to talk to.

Construction began for SYZ began at the end of January and is set for completion in early 2025.