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Working with Manchester United Foundation for Mental Health Awareness Week

Manchester United Foundation to deliver 5,000 books and balls to local children in an effort to tackle mental health.

In support of Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16th May), Manchester United Foundation will be running a week-long promotion about all-things ‘wellbeing’. Supported by club captains, Harry Maguire and Katie Zelem, the Foundation will be distributing books, balls and resources to children across Greater Manchester, encouraging them to look after their mental health.

This forms part of the Foundation’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has had a significant impact on young people’s mental health. Social isolation, a loss of routine and a breakdown in formal and informal support has led to young people feeling lonely and isolated.

In an effort to inspire and encourage children to talk about their mental health, the Foundation will be distributing over 5,000 books and balls to children living in deprived areas of Greater Manchester.

The book, created in partnership with publisher DK Books, has kindly been donated to the Foundation in support of local communities. Aimed at children aged 8-12 years, it features Manchester United-themed activities, advice and self-care tips to inspire and engage children in looking after their overall wellbeing.

To accompany the book is a small football that features wellbeing phrases. Foundation coaches have put together an array of activities that children can complete either at home or in school that support discussions around mental health and what it means to look after their mental wellbeing.

Throughout the season the Foundation has also been working in partnership with Manchester Mind. We are training 74 front-line staff in recognising mental health concerns in the young people they work with. This training enables coaches to be better equipped in advising children and signposting them to the services needed.

All partner schools and community projects will receive a bundle of assets, which share information and guidance on the ‘five ways to wellbeing’ as well as contact information for services if they’re struggling. Supported by Manchester Mind, this information will also be relayed across Foundation online channels to ensure young people have access to the information to better support their mental and physical wellbeing.

The support will continue into the autumn when students return to school, as the Foundation plans to run two dedicated mental health programmes across partner primary and secondary schools. The work will include Foundation staff running workshops and group exercises, giving young people the tools to better understand and look after their mental health.

To find out more about our work in the wellbeing space visit: www.mufoundation.org/wellbeing

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We know that the lifting of all existing restrictions with regard to COVID-19 will for many people be a relief and be welcome, but for others it will be causing great anxiety.

As an organisation we need to ensure that we are managing these changes carefully and have a service update detailing how we will be responding over the coming months.

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