January 28, 2016 by News, Salford

The Rio Ferdinand Foundation Is Delighted To Announce John Hoey As Our New Young Ambassador In Salford!!!


The Rio Ferdinand Foundation is delighted to have John Hoey on board as one of our Salford based Young Ambassadors! The Foundation first met John through #RFF’s Radio project in Little Hulton in 2014. John aspired to become a choreographer and a dance company director. As a participant John helped a group of young community breakdancers design a Street Dance Video in order to address a number of important local issues around young people simply having nothing to do on a Friday night! John wanted the opportunity to learn how to teach dance and with the help of RFF he was matched with a qualified mentor who supported him to choreograph a routine and teach this to another group of young people from Little Hulton.

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John has since become a young community leader! With our support he has designed, developed and fundraised for his own hip-hop dance project entitled ‘Challenging Stereotypes Through Streetdance’. John wanted to creatively address how young people can sometimes be judged or stereotyped in a negative way for the way they dress, where they’re from, gender, age… John wanted to use his talents within dance to express a topic that he feels is important in his local community.

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The achievements of John and his group were celebrated at a showcase event held at Contact Theatre in central Manchester. John received an award for all of his amazing achievements as part of Salford Youth Day!!! As a young carer John was also nominated for the Personal Achievement Volunteer Award at the Heart of Salford Awards in November 2015. He is now starting to set up his own business, and will be delivering dance classes within a new youth and community group in Walkden alongside the charity Enthusiasm.

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John Dance Project

John took some time out of his busy schedule to tell us his side of the story!!!

Q: First thing first John, what does it mean to you to be a young ambassador for the Rio Ferdinand Foundation?!

A: ‘It means a lot to me, I feel very privileged to be one of the faces for the Foundation! It has given me more motivation and has spurred me on to inspire others.’

Q: What were you doing before you got involved with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation?

A: ‘Not much. I was going to college and going home. I had the ambition to be a dancer but never had the confidence to act on it. I was studying Dance and Performing Arts at college where I started to gain confidence. I think this is when I really became focused on dance.’

Q: Have you always been passionate about dance?

A: ‘No, at an early age I enjoyed playing football and being involved with things like the scouts and cadets. When I was 13 years old I realised I wanted to move into dance following the release of Street Dance 1 and the rise of the dance group Diversity from Britain’s Got Talent.’

Q: How did you hear about the #RFF and how did you get involved?

A: ‘I first came across the Rio Ferdinand Foundation through Salford Young Carers. The Foundation was running a Radio project in my local area of Little Hulton and I wanted to get involved.’

Q: When did you come to run your own dance leadership programme?

A: ‘I realised that I got a lot more enjoyment from teaching than the taking part, because of the impression and effect you can have on someone’s life by teaching them how to accomplish something.’

Q: What personal issues has the foundation helped you to overcome?

A: ‘Before I meet #RFF I suffered from low confidence. Being involved with the Foundation helped me to improve in lots of ways, including talking to new people, speaking on the phone and sending emails.’

Q: Do you have a role model you look up to for motivation or is it self-motivation that pushes you to move forward?

A: ‘A bit of both. I aspire to be like the big choreographers of the world. I would really like to travel the world with dance, inspiring different people around the globe. I want to encourage people to go forward and push themselves, and to do whatever they want in their lives and careers!’

Q: Have you gained any qualifications whilst working with #RFF or any other organisation, if so what are they?

A: ‘I have gained a Level 1 in Using Sport to Tackle Youth Crime with RFF. I have also gained a First Aid qualification, funded by YMCA.’

Q: And finally John, do you have any advice for any of the young people out there?

A: ‘Never give up, first of all! Keep going at your passion, even if things get hard sometimes or you think it’s impossible, it’s actually not! If #RFF can support you, get involved. RFF Salford have been a big help to me!’



John took part in our Leadership programme, which brings together this theory of change: supporting young people to take a leadership role in their communities through using the arts, media and sports. Improving their confidence, self-esteem and peer networks through their existing interests, as well as equipping them with the tools for active citizenship, education, employment or enterprise.

This means #RFF projects stay fresh and relevant to the issues young people care about.

John Office

The Rio Ferdinand Foundation strives to support young people within the community using creative arts, sports and media to build confidence, raise aspirations and improve life skills. Empowering young people to become local role models and inspire their communities.

To get in touch with our Salford RFF team then please contact Victoria, Salford’s Programme Manager on;
Office Tel: 07894386401

The Rio Ferdinand Foundation is a registered charity funded by the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund. Charity Registration No. 1151127