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On October 2nd, Mahdlo Youth Zone in Oldham was officially opened by HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
The prince spent more than an hour touring the Youth Zone in Egerton Street, meeting patrons, supporters, local dignitaries, and many of its members, all of whom were delighted to chat to the royal visitor.
Claire Crossfield, Development Manager, at Mahdlo, said, “He was engaging and funny, and most of all, fascinated by what goes on in a Youth Zone. His visit has meant a lot to us all.”
The royal visit was not the first within the youth zone network. In February 2012, HRH also visited Blackburn Youth Zone to officially open its doors.
HRH spoke at length with the young people, including members of the Ability Group, Juniors and Seniors, and nearly got involved in some sparring training before security guards stepped in to prevent any personal injury, either to the trainer or the prince.
His level of interest is perhaps best reflected by his probing questions to the young people, in particular the Young People’s Development Group. He asked about the Youth Zone’s history, and where the name came from. Step forward a very proud Charlotte Kilroy, who explained the branding process and how Oldham came to be turned on its head.
All in all, it was an afternoon for Mahdlo to be proud of, demonstrating the impact that the Youth Zone has made on its community in the short time since it opened its doors earlier in 2012.