The Club and its charity, City in the Community, came together to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for two very deserving young people.
Ben Mason, 16 from Jersey, was selected by Manchester City to hand the Premier League trophy to captain Fernandinho.
In March this year, Ben’s sister sadly took her own life aged just 14.
Not only has Ben shown incredible resilience during the past two months, but he has done so whilst raising funds for, and the profile of, Teenage Mental Health awareness. So far, Ben has raised more than £100,000.
Commenting on the day, Ben said: “I’ve never felt this way before in my whole life, it’s just an insane opportunity to be able to this today. I’m amazed.
“I was very nervous, but as soon as I got up there I knew what I needed to do and the nerves just disappeared so I could enjoy the moment.
“It’s such an amazing privilege for me and all of my family. I am so thankful to all of Manchester City for giving me this opportunity.”
Ben was also joined by Olivia Wilkinson, a City in the Community participant, aged 22 from Rochdale.
Olivia, who helped to carry the trophy onto the Etihad pitch, has been an outstanding participant in the charity’s employability project, City Careers. During this time, she has also been undergoing treatment for cancer.
Despite dealing with the implications of her treatment and health, Olivia has not held back in getting involved with CITC.
She has used her resilience and warmth to help others as a volunteer mentor within City Careers, offering her time and effort to support other young people into finding sustainable employment.
Speaking after the trophy presentation, Olivia said: “It was amazing. I can’t physically explain or tell you how amazing it was!
“City in the Community are incredible – I can’t fault them, and I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t them. I wouldn’t be in a job. They just picked me up when I needed it and now, I’m off!
“I cannot thank them enough.”
Head of City in the Community, Mike Geary, spoke of his pride upon seeing both Ben and Olivia on Sunday.
He said: “Community is at the heart of this football club 365 days of the year, so it was poignant to see a young person from our charity carry the trophy in front of the Etihad crowd.
“We are extremely proud of everything Olivia has achieved during her time with CITC and are delighted to hear that she has now been able to secure full-time employment. To achieve everything she has, whilst undergoing treatment for cancer at such a young age, is a testament to her character and resilience.
“We’d like to say a huge well done to both Olivia and Ben on their much-deserved moment today, as well as the Manchester City squad for retaining the Premier League title.”
City in the Community caught some special moments from the presentation through its Instagram (@citctweets) story on the day, which you can watch in full below.
For more information about City in the Community, visit www.mancity.com/community.