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Foundation wins Community Club of the Season award

Manchester United Foundation is delighted to have been recognised as the Premier League Community Club of the Season at the North West Football Awards, receiving the accolade at a star-studded event in Manchester.

| by Communications

More than 650 guests attended the black-tie event on Monday night, which was hosted by BBC presenter Dan Walker, at The Point at Emirates Old Trafford. The awards celebrated and honoured those who have made a difference in football throughout 2020/21 and the Community Club of the Season award commended the high standard of our work with young people, most of which took place in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.


At the start of the pandemic, in the early part of 2020, the Foundation committed to an ethos of ‘where we serve, we stay’, and we are proud that we were able to carry that message into the 2020/21 season, supporting our community of young people and their families through a very difficult period.


Not only have we continued to deliver ground-breaking football and educational programmes, but we have also partnered with leading organisations to donate food and essential items to families in need, also providing wellbeing support at the most challenging of times for youth mental health.


In May, we marked #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek by running a week-long promotion about wellbeing. Supported by club captains Harry Maguire and Katie Zelem, the Foundation distributed 5,000 books, balls and resources to children, encouraging them to look after their mental health.


During the winter months, our Santa’s Red Helpers appeal encouraged fans to follow the lead of staff and players to support vulnerable children and families over the festive period. Throughout December, the united effort raised over £400,000 to provide 7,000 gift packs and 80,000 meals for those in need.


Food donation continued throughout the year as we distributed 383,472 items of food in the school holidays, honouring our commitment to feeding local communities during the crisis. Additional support has been continually offered to young people and their families though online programmes, mentoring, wellbeing support, donations of kit and enrichment opportunities, such as school holiday provision and end of season pitch days at Old Trafford.


John Shiels, chief executive of Manchester United Foundation, said: “It gives me great pleasure and immense pride to see the work of Manchester United Foundation staff acknowledged by the North West Football Awards. The way we responded to the Covid-19 crisis was in the same way as in normal times, with total compassion and empathy; the pandemic meant we had to intensify our efforts even more, because we were needed more. Our partnerships and understanding of the communities in which we worked allowed us to target the most vulnerable at a time when our assistance was deemed as a last resort.

“This award, although directed at the Foundation, could not have been achieved without the help and support of the many agencies we work with on a day-to-day basis, together we were able to temper some of the distress our children and families found themselves in. 
I am so proud of the way our team adapted and worked tirelessly to ensure our delivery maintained the high standard we set ourselves. 


There was also further recognition for other figures at Manchester United, with legendary forward Denis Law picking up a Lifetime Achievement award and club chef James Tagg collecting the Unsung Hero accolade. Chef Tagg was instrumental in helping the Foundation to facilitate the delivery of 80,000 meals during our Christmas appeal, we thank him for his incredible effort and pass on our congratulations.

Well done to Denis, Chef Tagg and all the other winners and nominees.