Manchester City’s official foundation, City in the Community (CITC), challenged fans to complete a two, five or 10km challenge as part of its annual Blue Run event.
Supporters of all ages, from Manchester to Melbourne, took part, raising over £25,000 and counting in aid of CITC’s new mental health project.
Every penny raised will help CITC to continue its new mental health programme, which harnesses 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.
These sessions will continue throughout the school holidays, offering support and food provision at a time when young people are most vulnerable to suffering with their physical and mental health.
Staff have been trained to help identify, support, and refer potential mental health issues for any participant.
Fundraising Events Manager, Melissa-May Newland, added: “Although we would have loved to welcome everyone to the Etihad for a traditional Blue Run around the stadium, it’s been amazing to see how many fans have supported the event from home.
“From cycling around Stockport, to runs through Oslo and walks in Missouri, the fans have gone above and beyond to show their support for City in the Community!
“Thank you to everyone who took part – every penny raised is going to help ensure that our mental health programme can continue for a second year, when many young people will still be feeling the effects on the pandemic on their wellbeing.”
CITC’s new mental health programme forms part of the wide-ranging ‘Cityzens Giving for Recovery’ initiative, which aims to make a positive difference in response to the COVID-19 pandemic via targeted projects near each of City Football Group’s ten clubs.
Since June, City Football Group has matched donations pound for pound from kind-hearted City fans and partners, so far raising almost £1million for recovery projects around the world.
To support Cityzens Giving for Recovery, visit: cityzensgiving.org.