Manchester United Foundation will be distributing 5,000 books and balls to children living in deprived areas of Greater Manchester in support of Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from May 10-16.
The week-long promotion, supported by club captains Harry Maguire and Katie Zelem, is part of an effort to encourage children to talk about their mental health.
United teamed up with publishers DK, and will distribute a book called United Minds: Be positive. Be curious. Be united, aimed at children aged 8-12.
The 48-page book features Manchester United-themed activities, advice and self-care tips to inspire and engage children in looking after their overall wellbeing.
“The pandemic has been especially hard for children up and down the country,” Maguire said. “They have been without regular exercise, social contact and routine, which is bound to have an impact on their mental health.
“I’m really pleased the Foundation is tackling those issues and supporting young people across Greater Manchester and beyond. The ‘book and ball’ is a great way to have fun, exercise and look after their overall wellbeing.
“As a parent, I know how important it is to encourage children to look after their mental health as well as their physical health. My advice to any young person is to talk about how you’re feeling and seek help from your coaches, teachers or family when you feel down.”
To accompany the book is a small football that features wellbeing phrases.
Zelem added: “It’s fantastic to see Manchester United Foundation supporting the mental health of thousands of young people across Greater Manchester. Covid-19 has been incredibly hard, especially for children who haven’t been able to socialise with friends.
“The ‘book and ball’ is a great way for children to learn ways in which they can improve their mental wellbeing which is so important during this time, and I hope it really benefits many in the community.”
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