City’s Official Foundation delivered £10,000 worth of vouchers across ten schools neighbouring last week to support students and their families.
The donation was made possible thanks to remaining funds from Manchester City and City in the Community’s Christmas Campaign, which provided every child in East Manchester primary schools with a gift.
CITC Coaches spent the day dropping off the free vouchers, as well as 255 free technology bundles, helping hundreds of children continue learning as they return to school after the latest national lockdown this winter.
Head of City in the Community, Mike Geary, said: “We are delighted to be able to make this donation to schools in East Manchester.
“The CITC team worked closely with local head teachers to identify current key needs and understand how the remaining funds from our Christmas Campaign could be best used.
“Access to technology and free food during school holidays were highlighted as requirements across all schools, so we are pleased to have been able to address both.
“City in the Community has a strong connection with its most local schools, and we are proud to be able to increase our support in response to what has been an exceptionally difficult 12-months for children.”
Headteacher at Ashbury Meadow Primary School, Lucy Thomas, said: “During lockdown, a lot of our families include parents who have lost jobs, which has impacted massively on their ability to feed their children.
"So, this donation helps to put something in place whereby they can actually go and buy food to give their children a decent meal.
“We have more than 160 children who are on free school meals, but we also have a lot who don’t qualify yet for free school meals but are incredibly vulnerable – so this support from City in the Community enables us to target those children as well.
“To be honest, we couldn’t really do without the support of City in the Community. The charity provides our children with so much more than just free food; from all the programmes based to healthy activity, to disability awareness and the ability to go and watch matches, these are all things that they just wouldn’t otherwise get. It’s really enriching their curriculum.”
Parent Support Advisor at Ravensbury Community School, Ann Roberts, added: “These vouchers are going to make a tremendous difference to our students, especially throughout the holiday period.
“Parents have spoken to me on a number of occasions about how they struggle to provide enough food and sometimes, to enable the children to eat, our parents do without. So we’ll be giving these vouchers straight to the families that we know are struggling, ensuring that everyone can eat.
“Having City in the Community just over the road is a great support – we see them all the time! The children enjoy doing their sporting sessions, no matter which team they support, so it just creates a great atmosphere in school.”
The donation is the latest activity in a long list of City’s COVID-19 related support for the local community, starting back in March when the Club gave over large sections of the Etihad Stadium for use by local health services.
City in the Community has also launched a new mental health programme in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to support young people in Manchester. The project will harness the power of football to help provide support for thousands of people aged 14 to 25.
A dedicated team has developed a new mental health curriculum, blending specially adapted football sessions with one-to-one mentoring and group workshops on mental health awareness, to improve mental wellbeing.
Additionally, specific mental health themed football sessions will be delivered from youth clubs across Manchester, enabling participants to enjoy physical activity whilst also accessing the benefits of one-to-one mentoring and group workshops.
This latest activity by City in the Community is part of Cityzens Giving for Recovery, a 12-month campaign launched in June 2020, bringing together staff and fans of all City Football Group Clubs to help our communities recover from the effects of the pandemic through donations, expertise, facilities, resources and voice and make a positive difference.