In recognition of the particularly challenging year endured by many local families, and research suggesting one in three Manchester children will not receive a Christmas present this year, the Club’s staff, coaches, players and legends have funded, wrapped and delivered Christmas presents to every primary school child in East Manchester and every child in the care of Manchester City Council across the city – a combined total of 5,500 presents.
City in the Community’s work to tackle holiday hunger has continued over the festive period, with the charity donating 500 three-course Christmas meals to local families in East, Central and South Manchester.
In addition to this, City in the Community has sourced over 45,000 everyday essential items including clothes and toiletries and donated these to ten charitable organisations based in Manchester for distribution to residents over the winter months.
As part of Manchester City’s long-standing relationships with local hospitals, the Club adapted its annual Christmas visits to ensure that men’s and women’s players could still meet with the many brave young patients who are away from home at this time of year.
Video calls were made to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, The Christie, Francis House Children’s Hospice and Wythenshawe Starlight Ward. Men’s players also made a donation to the RMCH to purchase new equipment for the fifth consecutive year, bringing the cumulative total of their donations to the hospital to nearly £80,000.
The Club’s Christmas activities follow a number of community outreach initiatives that have been taking place since the second national lockdown. Over 1,000 calls have been made to supporters by staff and players at the Club to tackle isolation and raise the spirits of Cityzens around the world at this difficult time.
Alongside this, City has actively engaged with university students from the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University to deliver presentations and share an insight into the many and varied departments at the Club.
Commenting on the Club’s activities throughout the festive period, Chief Executive, Ferran Soriano said:
“We all know how difficult this year has been and that for some, the festive period will be particularly challenging. Our priority was to find ways to connect with those in our community who are most in need, to provide tangible support and let them know that their football club is there for them. Thanks to the combined efforts of our coaches, staff, our players and our charity, City in the Community, we have been able to make a difference over this festive period and share some City magic”
Head of City in the Community, Mike Green, added:
“Manchester City has always had a strong connection with its community, and we have been proud to play our part to support local people since the start of this pandemic. We knew that Christmas would feel very different this year and we were determined to find ways of giving and connecting to those in Manchester who need it most.”