The Foundation is still supporting its partners with staff presence in some schools and colleges as the Covid-19 pandemic continues, and is now showing its ongoing commitment by pledging £10,000 to each site, to assist vulnerable families who are most in need at this time.
The Family Support Donations are to be used for food, clothing, energy, medication, IT equipment and other essentials and hope to alleviate some of the challenges currently faced by some families.
Jenny Langley, principal at Great Academy Ashton, said: “During lockdown we have become increasingly concerned about the support for families whose children usually receive Free School Meals. Manchester United Foundation is a brilliantly supportive partner of ours and they have stepped into this void to provide enough money for all those families to receive vouchers to cover at least some of the shortfall. There is enough in their very generous donation for us to support some of our other families too, those who may not previously have needed it but are struggling financially now due to loss or reduction of income.
“During these unusual times the Foundation has continued to work with schools like ours to understand the immediate challenges facing our young people and their families, and this shows the strength and moral purpose of Manchester United Foundation.”
Jude Lomas, headteacher at Brentwood School and Community College, a special educational needs facility in Sale, said: “The one goal is improving the lives of our students at this time. A fundamental support is ensuring families have enough food and we can now provide supermarket vouchers. Beyond this we are able to support the emotional health and wellbeing of our students. For example, one student loves music therapy, and we have been able to provide a set of tubular bells for her to use at home whilst she is shielding due to her significant health needs.
“In the coming weeks we will be able to use this money to provide individual support for students where we identify a need. We are most grateful to Manchester United Foundation for this opportunity.”
John Shiels, CEO of Manchester United Foundation, (pictured) said: “We really value the relationship we have with our schools, and in the spirit of true partnerships, we are delighted to be able to offer support to those families who are most in need right now. Our coaches usually work with these children day-in-day-out and this way we are able to still make a difference and give them a sense of hope at this difficult time.”
The Foundation has partnerships with high schools, colleges and SEND facilities in nine out of the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester, at which full-time staff are based to work with the pupils, provide extra-curricular support and build lasting relationships. Staff are still supporting where possible to work with children of key workers and those that are vulnerable.
The pledge to schools adds to the response of Manchester United and the Foundation to the local community during Covid-19, including the support of the NHS through meal donations and deliveries of goods to food banks.