Manchester United Foundation has provided more than 100,000 essential items such as hats, gloves, and warm clothing to support families across Greater Manchester as part of its winter giving campaign.
Working alongside Manchester United and its partners, the Foundation delivered a wide range of gifts and programmes to provide extensive support to young people and families who may be experiencing hardship this winter.
Warm clothing items were generously gifted by Manchester United and its partner adidas before the Christmas break, shortly followed by 1,000 slow cookers and 8,600 hats, gloves and scarves by the Foundation.
An investment of £60,000 was made in the slow cookers, hats, gloves and scarves, meaning items could be distributed across the Foundation’s 64 partner primary, secondary and special educational needs schools.
The schools will redistribute the items to deserving pupils and families, with some schools utilising the slow cookers within lessons, to teach their pupils how to use them.
Alongside the slow cookers, every school received seven unique recipe cards, devised by Manchester United head chef James Tagg. Families will be encouraged to follow Tagg’s recipes to cook nutritious, simple and cost-effective meals during the winter period.
Further support from Manchester United saw countless bags of clothing which were kindly donated by supporters ahead of last month’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford and distributed among young people at one of the Foundation’s partner high schools.
The club has welcomed hundreds of local people to the Warm Hub initiative that was launched in December to provide those in need with a space to stay warm, chat, have a hot drink and some snacks.
In addition to the Warm Hub the club have introduced ‘Happy to Chat Benches’ on the forecourt at Old Trafford – signposted as a welcoming place for people who may feel lonely or worried to sit and talk to others.
Foundation chief executive John Shiels explained: “With so many across Greater Manchester experiencing the effects of the on-going cost-of-living crisis, we are determined to provide as much support as we can to our young people and their families during these difficult times.
“The items we have provided will have a lasting effect on thousands of local families. Distributing slow cookers to our schools and young people will be incredibly impactful by helping people to get the nutrition they need and gain the knowledge needed to cook a fantastic range of simple recipes, kindly devised by chef Tagg.
“We look forward to hearing about the impact that has had for our young people across our schools and community sites in the region, and to see them sporting their new winter clothing items, which will be vital, as we want our participants to continue enjoying the benefits of physical exercise in our sessions despite the cold temperatures.”
Helen O’Brien, headteacher of partner special school The Orchards, said: “We’ve had a wonderful delivery this morning of some hats, scarves and slow cookers to support our families through this really difficult time.
“It’s going to make such a difference to our families to be able to be warm with the hats and scarves for the children when they’re coming into school, but also at home, the families are able to have home-cooked, fresh meals.”
The Foundation’s winter giving campaign also spanned the Christmas period, with more than 55,000 Manchester United gift items and 2,600 items of adidas kit being distributed to participants across the Foundation’s programmes.