With Coronavirus restrictions preventing him from meeting people in person, Gundogan, who is an Official Ambassador for the charity, elected to host a surprise Zoom call for fans from around the country
2020 has been a particularly challenging year for the care sector and Gundogan’s call was a welcome boost for some of the charity’s biggest football fans, who received an extra surprise when the Manchester City midfielder revealed he had arranged for them all to receive a present on Christmas Day.
The 30-year-old took time to answer a host of questions and the experience was described as “a dream come true” by one participant and “the best Christmas surprise” by another.
“It was fantastic to spend some time with the people supported by Community Integrated Care,” said Gundogan.
“At this time of year, with Christmas being around the corner and people being stuck at home, I wanted to take some time out with them.
“Their questions were great and it was wonderful to see what it meant to them.”
Community Integrated Care is one of the UK’s largest social care charities, supporting thousands of people who have learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns, dementia and other complex care needs.
The charity is a major provider of specialist services across Greater Manchester and Gundogan became an ambassador after he made socially distanced visits to three of its local services to celebrate his 30th birthday in October.
City’s No.8 has since gone on to build an ongoing relationship with the charity and was delighted he could bring a smile to people's faces this Christmas.
“Manchester has become a second home to me,” he added.
“I have been here for almost five years, so it is important to me to support a charity that does a lot of good things locally.
“I visited some of Community Integrated Care’s projects and met many of their people on my birthday, and I loved it.
“I always remember how privileged I am, so it means a lot to be able to give back and put a smile on people’s faces - this is what really matters in life.
"I hope that they have a great Christmas.”