From the earliest days of the crisis, the Club engaged with the NHS and Manchester City Council in a period of consultation to fully understand the challenges facing the health and public services in Manchester.
In the months since, a formal partnership with the NHS and the Council has been established which has led to the development and delivery of a wide range of campus activities stewarded by Manchester City in conjunction with campus partners.
The transformation of the campus includes the opening of the Etihad Stadium for the training of over 350 nursing staff, including those working in the Nightingale Northwest Hospital, local community care and children’s community care settings.
The agreement between the Club and Manchester Health and Care Commissioning will see the stadium being used for a variety of purposes over the coming weeks and months as the needs of the health service evolves.
A rest, relaxation and exercise centre has been opened for NHS and social care staff working within Manchester’s hospitals and community health services, providing several thousand people with access to a quiet space from 7:30am – 10pm every day of the week.
Alongside this, a ‘click and collect’ shopping service has been opened ensuring that groceries and household supplies are readily available for staff who need them.
At the North end of the Etihad Campus, a drive-through coronavirus testing facility has been set up, utilising one of the Club’s car parks.
Initially open for a three month period, with an offer from the Club to extend beyond this, the centre has increased the availability of tests for thousands of NHS and key workers with over 1,000 per day currently being carried out on site.
“As a club, we are acutely conscious of the role we can, and should, play in supporting our city, both day to day, and in times of crisis,” said Manchester City’s Chief Operating Officer, Omar Berrada.
“It was abundantly clear from the outset of this pandemic that we would be able to help, but we wanted to understand how we could do so most effectively in order to best support our public services, our fans and the wider Manchester community.
“Having consulted, and worked closely, with our friends and partners from across the city for many weeks now, we feel proud to be playing even a small role within a wider community effort that has once again shown Manchester’s strength of spirit, its resilience and togetherness.
“We remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting Manchester over the coming weeks through this crisis and beyond, into its recovery, in full confidence that our city will come back stronger than before.”
Claire Yarwood, Chief Finance Officer and Deputy Accountable Officer for Manchester Health Care Commissioning, added: “We are really fortunate in Manchester to not only have world-class hospitals and resilient social care, community and primary care services that could respond quickly to this global pandemic, but to also have strong relationships with our partners like Manchester City.
"The whole team at Manchester City have been brilliant to work with and the Club’s support for our NHS and social care services as well as our city’s communities during this crisis is emblematic of the uncrushable spirit of Manchester.”
Beyond the Etihad Campus, the Club has been working with a range of stakeholders across the city to identify areas of need to target and direct resources in the most effective way.
We have provided support for several community groups who tackle a range of social issues, food bank donations and flowers to care homes, whilst club staff have made calls to Seasoncard holders who find themselves in isolation and gift packages have been provided to fans over 70.
Players have also lent their voices to community campaigns – including a Greater Manchester Police drive encouraging people to stay at home and our Under 15s team have been writing letters to residents of three local care homes.
The Club’s charity, City in the Community, whose daily in-person programs are paused in line with current guidelines, nonetheless continue to find ways to engage with participants through online education and exercise classes.
They have combined with partners Nestle, Carex and Music Magpie to donate and deliver 3,000 books to community groups, 2,000 Easter Eggs to young carers and 700 bottles of hand gel to families.
“We are so grateful for the amazing support that Manchester City has shown the people of our city and our NHS and social care colleagues," said Dr Ruth Bromley, Chair of Manchester Health and Care Commissioning and GP in Wythenshawe.
"They have been there for our communities, particularly people who have been made most vulnerable during the challenges of lockdown and demonstrated both care and imagination in the contribution they have made and are making."
Lucy Powell, MP for Manchester Central, added: “Manchester City is widely recognised for its longstanding commitment to communities across Manchester and has played a fundamental role in supporting the growth and development of our city over many years.
"The manner with which the Club has responded to the challenges that our community has been presented with is not only testament to the Club’s values and ethos, but also demonstrates a genuine desire to understand the real issues people are facing.
"Having a Club embedded within the fabric of our city to such an extent has resulted in the delivery of wide range of activities which have truly benefited local people at a time when they need it most.
"I am really proud of the what the Club is doing during this difficult time, and the leadership they have shown.”