Former Manchester United youth player helps shine a light on diversity

Ellisha Soanes with former Man Utd pro, Aaron Burns.

Ellisha Soanes with former Man Utd pro, Aaron Burns. - Credit: Eastern Colleges Group

A former Manchester United youth team player was on hand to help out at a festival of equality at West Suffolk College.

Aaron Burns, who played for the club's under 23s between 2004 and 2007, was at The Red Devils at the same time as Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.

The former pro was joined by other notable speakers including BBC radio presenter Angelle Joseph, at the event, which took place on Thursday, June 16.

The event, which included talks around equality, diversity, and inclusion, was attended by current staff and students as well as hundreds of primary and secondary school children.

The festival is part of a campaign created by Ellisha Soanes, the equality diversity and inclusion coordinator across the Eastern Colleges Group (ECG), to try and get black history on the educational curriculum in the UK all year round.

She said: “Working across the ECG, we are determined to come together to make positive change. Seeing students and teachers of all ages to unite, listen and learn about each other was a powerful moment for me."

Oleksandra Shevchenko, an artist from Ukraine who had an exhibition at the festival.

Oleksandra Shevchenko, an artist from Ukraine who had an exhibition at the festival. - Credit: Eastern Colleges Group