Players from Manchester City’s Under-18s team spread Christmas cheer and supported homeless people during a visit to Riverside’s Newbury House.
The footballers and coaches, supported by City in the Community, handed over warm winter items, decorated the housing and support scheme, and donated supermarket vouchers to those in need.
As part of the #BlueChristmas campaign – which sees City in the Community celebrating all things festive and giving even more back to the community – they’ve teamed up with #BigChangeMCR, a collection of grassroots organisations that support homeless people in the city.
The young players were armed with baubles, tinsel and a Christmas tree to spread a little festive cheer, while coaches passed on more than 100 items of kit to the team of support workers.
Mike Green, Head of City in the Community said: “As a club with its roots firmly in the community, we’ve teamed up with #BigChangeMCR to make sure we support local people.
“It’s a brilliant initiative which see charities and organisations from across Manchester working together and using their expertise to provide frontline services for homeless people. The players have enjoyed getting involved and hearing first-hand how #BigChangeMCR is helping give brighter futures to those in need.”
Newbury House is run by Riverside Care & Support and provides accommodation and help to rough sleepers in Manchester. Working out on the streets, outreach teams engage with homeless people, supporting them to come indoors.
At Newbury House, they are offered one of 23 bed spaces and access to a range of support so that they can ultimately move on to live safely and securely in a home of their own.
Eleanor Watts, Riverside Care and Support area manager and chair of #BigChangeMCR, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic that City have got involved with #BigChangeMCR and Newbury House to provide their support at this time of year and make people’s lives better.
“We’re providing a new resource to support rough sleepers and were able to get 11 people off the streets last week.
“The City players are our first visitors and we’re so grateful for their support, which will really encourage people to remain here in doors with us over Christmas. If anybody would like to support the homeless in Manchester, please visit www.bigchangemcr.co.uk ”
Newbury House, based in the Victoria Park area of the city, is providing a new and additional resource for rough sleepers and the service has been commissioned by Manchester City Council.
Joel Latibeaudiere, U18s captain, added: “I’m proud that the club are supporting this cause at Christmas as it’s important to highlight other people’s situations. We always want to help so it’s important that we did this. This will hopefully help people living here over Christmas – it’s more Christmassy and festive now.”