Man United ‘warm’ gesture towards community


Old Trafford to open for community Image: Coliseum GSVA

The Premier League club Manchester United F.C. will open the doors of their residence – the Old Trafford in Stretford, England (UK) – to the local community during December to help those facing difficult months ahead as part of the club’s Winter campaign – ‘United by Your Side’.

‘Manchester United’ stated that as temperatures fall and heating bills rise, the Red Café at the iconic stadium will provide those in need with a space to stay warm, chat, have a hot drink, and some snacks.

The Manchester United Football Club, commonly referred to as Man United, or simply United, is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England (UK). The club competes in the Premier League, the top division in the English football league system.

The Old Trafford is a football stadium in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England (UK), and the home of Manchester United. With a capacity of 74,310 it is the largest club football stadium in the United Kingdom, and the 11th-largest in Europe.

The Red Café is a premium, fully inclusive Matchday Hospitality set within the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand. The package includes a drinks reception on arrival, followed by a delicious three course meal and complimentary bar, matchday entertainment and post-match selection of hot and cold snacks.

Europe is facing climbing energy bills and the prime reason being attributed is supply disruption linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24th.

‘Manchester United’ further stated that the area will be available to everyone*, free of charge, every Monday and Wednesday** for the next three weeks, starting December 5th from 17:00 to 20:00 GMT. People can arrive and register via the North Stand reception and will be guided to the Red Cafe.

In addition to the warm space the club is introducing ‘talking benches’ on the forecourt at the Old Trafford – signposted as a welcoming place for people who may feel lonely or worried to sit and talk to others.

Commented Collette Roche, Manchester United’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), “Whether Christmas is part of people’s life or not, the festive period can be a difficult time for many. It’s a time of year that puts extra pressure on people and can affect mental health and wellbeing in lots of different ways. Through our ‘United By Your Side’ campaign, we want people who are struggling to know that they are not alone, particularly in our local community. We want to make Old Trafford a second home by providing Winter accessories, company, warmth, and food for those who need it.”

The club is working with the Trafford Council and local charities to deliver the initiatives and communicate them to people who may benefit most.

Remarked Eleanor Roaf, Director of Public Health, Trafford Council, “This year with the increase in cost of heating and food, many people are likely to find Winter and the festive period challenging. I’m delighted that Manchester United are opening their Red Cafe and providing this space with hot snacks and drinks. This helps to show football is at the heart of our borough.”

Manchester Mind (mental health service in Manchester, England) has been supporting better mental health for over 30 years. They believe in the power of listening and being heard and know that talking about mental health is often the first step to feeling better.

Added Elizabeth Simpson, head honcho of Manchester Mind, “We know that many people are struggling at the moment due to the cost-of-living crisis, and that this is impacting their mental health. This can feel overwhelming and isolating. During these challenging times, we also know that our local organizations play a key role in supporting the most vulnerable in our community, and we are proud to be a part of ‘United By Your Side’ this Winter.”

*Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 16.

**Due to Manchester United’s EFL Cup fixture against Burnley F.C. on December 21st we will be opening the Red Cafe on December 22nd instead.

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