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Winter giving and supporting our community

Read how the club and the Foundation are working in tandem to support the local community this winter.

| by Matthew Brown

Manchester United Foundation is delivering a multi-layered approach to support the local community this winter.

As a charity supporting children and young people, the Foundation has focused its efforts on supporting families amidst the cost-of-living crisis, after participants from its Youth Voice groups expressed concerns over being cold during the winter months.

As a result, the Foundation has invested £100,000 in over 22,000 warm clothing items for every young person across its 77 partner schools, in Greater Manchester and beyond. These items include hats, gloves, scarves, blankets and more.

These items have complemented the winter coats that were distributed earlier this year, following the matchday appeal that was held ahead of the Brentford fixture in October at Old Trafford.

Donations from fans, club staff and men’s and women’s team players led to more than 2,000 coats being received, all of which have since been redistributed to identified families in need, local poverty charities and a charity in Ukraine.

Similarly, more than 200 shoeboxes – received thanks to Manchester United and Foundation staff – will be handed out to identified children as gifts ahead of the festive season.

Collette Roche, Chief Operating Officer at Manchester United and Chair of the Manchester United Foundation said: “We want people who are struggling to know that they are not alone, particularly in our local community.

“And we want to help where we can by opening the doors of Old Trafford again this winter to provide friendly company, warmth and food for those who need it.

“Sadly, we also know many of our young people will be facing challenges during the winter period and we hope by providing them with some warm winter clothing or a Christmas gift through the Foundation’s great work we will bring some joy and support to those in need."

As part of the wide range of initiatives from Manchester United and the Foundation to help those facing difficult months ahead, Manchester United will open the doors of Old Trafford for the return of the Warm Hub evenings next week.

Through the club’s winter campaign – ‘tis the season to be United – everyone at Manchester United is committed to having a positive impact on the lives of those in need, and as temperatures fall and heating bills rise, the Red Cafe at the iconic stadium will again provide the option of a space to stay warm, chat, have a hot drink and some snacks.

The area will be available to everyone*, free of charge, every Monday* in December and January from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. The Warm Hub evenings will start on Monday, 4 December and people can arrive and register via the North Stand reception and will be guided to the Red Cafe.

In addition to the physical benefits of the warm space, the club want the Red Café to be a welcoming place for people who may feel lonely or worried during the festive period to spend time with others in safe surroundings.

Whether Christmas is part of people’s lives or not, the festive period can be a difficult time for many. It’s a time of year that puts extra pressure on people and can affect mental health and wellbeing in lots of different ways.

If you or someone you know is struggling, then having access to the right information is vital. Visit Manchester Mind’s website to access their cost of living information here and their wellbeing hub here.