In May, Manchester United Foundation committed to the donation of thousands of activity and care packages to schoolchildren; the second wave of which were delivered yesterday by club legend and coach Michael Carrick.
Michael Carrick’s Foundation joined forces with Manchester United Foundation in its on-going response to the Covid-19 pandemic by supporting the latest donation of activity packs, with a focus on home schooling and returning to school.
The two foundations have been partnered since Carrick’s testimonial match in 2017, and the former midfielder’s charity funds the Street Reds project in Old Trafford, offering free football and alternative activities to young people aged 8-19.
The packs are being donated to children around the Old Trafford and Stretford areas, in order to continue supporting those who may usually attend Carrick’s Street Reds, whilst sessions are currently postponed. The children are predominantly Year 6 pupils and many will be joining Stretford High School in September, a partner school of Manchester United Foundation.
Yesterday, Michael spent the afternoon packing bags, loading a van and personally delivering the back-to-school packs to pupils, in the hope they will help with the transition from primary to secondary school.
Michael said: “It’s a difficult and uncertain time we find ourselves in and although we can’t deliver our usual weekly Street Reds sessions, we want participants to still feel supported.
“At our Foundation we strive to ensure that all our participants have the equipment they need to be the best that they can be. Over the last few months we’ve been working closely with Manchester United Foundation, Stretford High School and our Club 16 partner, Sedulo, to create these packs, which will hopefully make lives a little easier for local children.”
Ellie Lioudaki, assistant headteacher at Stretford High School, said: “Due to the lockdown, planned arrangements for supporting children’s transition to Year 7 have been disrupted significantly but we still want to ensure children have a safe and happy transition to Stretford High School and this initiative is going to kick start their journey to secondary education!
“We are sure that students were very excited to meet Michael Carrick and these deliveries will make them feel important and boost their confidence. Hopefully, these transition packs will alleviate some of their worries and fill them with excitement for joining high school.”
Lydia-Rose couldn’t believe it when Michael turned up on her doorstep. “I recognised him but then I had to process what was happening! I’ve watched him play for United but never thought he’d be here,” she said. “The box will really help with starting high school because it’s got lots of things in it that I’ll need.”
The donations have been supported by Michael Carrick Foundation Club 16 partner, Sedulo, which provided essential stationery items, food vouchers and water bottles, to help pupils with home schooling and to feel more prepared when returning to school following weeks of lockdown.
Michael concluded: “It’s been a privilege to be out in the community today helping with the drop offs and I can’t thank everyone enough for all of their support with this project."
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Manchester United Foundation has continued its commitment to the young people with whom it usually works on a daily basis in underprivileged areas of Greater Manchester.
The back-to-school pack giveaways add to the £1m response of Manchester United Foundation to the local community, including donations of funds to partner schools, working with the club to donate meals to the NHS, and support for food banks.