EVERY Manchester United Supporters’ Club – from Nottingham to New York and Dublin to Delhi – are to offered up to £1,000 to help youth-focused charities in their area respond to the Covid-19 crisis.
John Shiels, chief executive of the Manchester United Foundation who are funding the programme, said: “This is a unique opportunity to harness the collective power of United fans across the UK and overseas to make a positive impact on young people’s lives at this time of great strain on societies and economies around the world.
“We are as committed as ever to our mission to support young people across Greater Manchester, and we will continue to expand our local activities in response to the elevated need we anticipate as a result of the pandemic. But this is a global crisis requiring a global response, and United’s international appeal gives us the opportunity to play our part on that basis.”
An initial £500 donation to the nominated charity of each Supporters’ Club will be matched by the Foundation.
Clubs have been invited to nominate an established children’s charity in their region to receive the money and the Foundation will provide support for each club to carry out its own additional fundraising locally.
Internationally, supporters’ clubs will be encouraged to work with Unicef, Manchester United’s long-standing charitable partner, which is at the forefront of the global response to the pandemic.
There are 130 Manchester United Supporters’ Clubs in the UK and Ireland, with the remainder spread across 80 countries, including 13 in India.
Lindsay Roe, Secretary of the Nottingham Manchester United Supporters’ Club, said: “This is a fantastic gesture by the Foundation during these difficult times. We are delighted to be part of the initiative, which will benefit many children’s charities around the world through the Supporters’ Club network.”
Joseph Tedesco, President of the Malta Supporters’ Club, said: “Our international support is one of the things that make Manchester United special. This fantastic support from the Foundation will help children in need all around the world during these unprecedented times.”
The pledge to Supporters’ Clubs follows other initiatives by the Foundation in response to the pandemic that have been focused on local communities across Greater Manchester. These have included:
- £300,000 donation to the Foundation’s partner schools aimed at assisting vulnerable families with food, clothing, energy, medication, IT equipment and other essential
- Supply of activity packs and sports equipment to thousands of children to the value of £50,000
- Provision of 60,000 meals for NHS staff working on the frontline of the Covid-19 response at hospitals in Manchester and Salford
- Food bank donations