South Manchester is an area of huge contrasts, with upmarket leafy suburban towns like Altrincham, Sale, Chorlton and Didsbury, flanking some of our region’s most deprived areas such as Moss Side and, of course, Wythenshawe.

Ancient origins

Wythenshawe’s origins can be traced back to the late 13th century and local landowners, the Tatton Family. The Tattons owned an enclosed deer park here and, around 1540, built Wythenshawe Hall – one of the area’s oldest and best-loved landmarks.

The Hall, owned by Manchester City Council and open to the public, was the home of the Tatton Family for nearly 400 years, before being given – along with its surrounding 250 acres of land – to the city, by Lord and Lady Simon in 1926.

Visitors to Wythenshawe Park today will see the impressive statue of Oliver Cromwell. This was, in fact, moved to the park in 1968 from its original location on Victoria Bridge Street in Manchester City Centre, next to the cathedral. Wythenshawe Hall itself also has a story to tell about the English Civil War, when it was besieged in 1643 by Parlimentarian forces, led by Commander Robert Duckenfield.

The original garden suburb

Today, Wythenshawe is Manchester’s largest district with a total resident population of 110,000. The huge housing estate built there in the 1920s – often referred to as ‘the largest council estate in Europe’ – was intended as a ‘garden city’ for people being re-housed following the slum clearances of inner city Manchester. Benchill was the first part of the estate to be built (before World War Two), with the rest being developed in the late 1940’s as wartime building restrictions started to relax.

Right up until the 1960’s, Baguley was still semi-rural; nowadays, however, there is very little open countryside left in the area.

A hive of activity

This pioneering social housing project was originally built without many shops, amenities or services, and employment was, initially, quite scarce in the area. Nowadays, approximately 45,000 people work in Wythenshawe, which is home to the UK’s third largest airport and cargo centre and Wythenshawe Hospital, part of the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, as well as being the location of many busy industrial parks, most notably those at Moss Nook, Roundthorn and Sharston.

The town centre, known as the Civic Centre, was originally built in the 1960s as ‘The Forum’, incorporating a large retail complex, multi-storey car park, library and arts centre. After a period of sharp decline, the centre is now set to receive a £20 million face-lift, funded by a Levelling Up grant, with a new public square, shops and a community and cultural space – to be known as ‘The Hub’ – occupying the former Co-op Department Store. 1,600 new homes will also be built on council-owned land, with the whole scheme expected to be delivered over the next 15 years.

Personal significance

My professional journey as a recruiter began in South Manchester, working in Sale, so I have a real affection and affinity for the area. It also plays a key part in my day-to-day role here at Moxi Recruitment, with Northern Moor – one of Wythenshawe’s constituent districts – being home to our partner, EdStart Schools, supporting students with special educational needs, SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health) difficulties, autistic spectrum disorders and other neurodiverse conditions, such as ADHD, as well as those affected by childhood trauma.

A well-connected place

Wythenshawe is well served by Manchester’s Metrolink tram service, with busy stops along the ‘Airport Line’ located at Baguley, Benchill and the town centre itself.

The M56 and M60 motorways also provide major road connections, as does the A56 which runs for 10 miles from Wythenshawe, and into Manchester City Centre.

By far the area’s most famous transport hub is Manchester Airport, which handles around 28 million passengers every year at its three terminals.

Community spirit and a growing sporting legacy

One of my favourite things about Wythenshawe is its strong sense of identity and community, whilst being within easy reach of our region’s major centres like Manchester and Stockport, and a stone’s throw away from Altrincham, Didsbury and Sale; thriving places with growing reputations as foodie destinations and trendy nightspots.

In terms of sport, Wythenshawe is a football-mad place, with two thriving semi-professional teams of its own, and allegiances generally split down the middle between the red of Manchester United and the sky blue of Manchester City. Famous names from the world of football were born and raised in Wythenshawe, including Marcus Rashford MBE (a former pupil at Button Lane Primary School in Northern Moor), Chelsea’s Cole Palmer, ex-United full-back Shay Brennan, ex-City and England star Paul Stewart and current Premier League referee, Anthony Taylor.

Former Heavyweight Boxing champion of the World, Tyson Fury also hails from Wythenshawe, as does former WBO Inter-Continental Light Middleweight champion, Jimmy Kelly.

A centre of Manchester music and comedy

Wythenshawe can also boast a rich musical legacy, with guitar legends, Johnny Marr, Steve Hanley and Billy Duffy all coming from the town, as well as 1970’s punk pioneers, Slaughter and The Dogs and Paul Young (not that one!!!), lead singer of Sad Cafe and Mike and The Mechanics, and Freddie Garrity, frontman of 1960’s Manchester Beat group, Freddie and The Dreamers. Take That’s Jason Orange also lived in Wythenshawe as a child.

Wythenshawe is also the birthplace of BBC Radio 6 Presenter and ex-Fall guitarist, Marc Riley, as well as being the location of ‘Festival in the Park’, headlined last year by Noel Gallagher (from nearby Burnage), with this year’s event taking place this August Bank Holiday Weekend, featuring Mancunian Legends New Order and Johnny Marr and new local heroes, Blossoms.

The world of TV and comedy is also a much richer place thanks to Wythenshawe, with famous 1990’s comedienne, writer actress and creator of The Royle Family (one of my all-time favourites), Caroline Aherne being raised in Northern Moor, as well as 1970’s TV comedy duo Little and Large, Steptoe and Son star, Harry H. Corbett, and Coronation Street actors Simon Gregson, Nicholas Cochrane, Chris Bisson and Kevin Kennedy.

Places to get away from it all

Despite its built-up environment, Wythenshawe, Northern Moor and its surrounding areas are also blessed by stretches of canals, countryside and, of course, the River Mersey. I am a regular walker in the area, with the water parks at Sale and Chorlton being personal favourites. Occasionally, I can also be found at the Sale Park Run on a Saturday morning.

A diverse educational landscape

The area has 16 primary schools, 6 secondary schools, 4 special education schools, one sixth form and two FE campuses of The Manchester College, located at Northenden and Wythenshawe respectively.

Our partner, EdStart Schools has a centre in Northern Moor, and we also enjoy strong relationships with other schools and educational establishments in the area, some of whom have various boundary issues to contend with, a huge demand for SEN support and, consequently, great staff.

A key point of difference between ourselves and other education recruiters, is that Moxi is community-focused and, wherever possible, we always seek to work with local candidates who know the area, its strengths, its demographic profile and its challenges. In this way, we can make a really lasting contribution to our region’s educational environment at all levels, and help drive the local economy.

We have a fantastic cohort of classroom-ready candidates currently available in and around Wythenshawe, all looking for long-term, permanent roles in Early Years, Primary and Secondary Schools and SEN and Alternative Education provisions. The training of these candidates – some of whom are new to the world of education – is ongoing, and we work in collaboration with our partners across the North West of England to help people take that all-important first step with regard to a career in teaching, teaching assistance, admin and support.

As part of our all-encompassing package, we can provide bespoke training that includes a Level 2 Teaching Assistant qualification, Mental Health First Aid, Lesson Planning and Mindfulness.

If you’re looking to get a head start in education as a career, then call me today on 0300 303 4414, email info@moxi-recruitment.co.uk or visit our ‘Contact’ page http://www.moxi-recruitment.co.uk/contact/ and send us a message. We will always try and support you in the best way we possibly can. Whether that be through new career opportunities, training or CPD!