Big Coat Day has been a regular, and hugely popular, feature of the club’s community work since 2005 and down the years the club has worked with a number of charities to help those most in need in the Manchester area. The annual initiative collects spare warm clothing, toiletries and other items so that it can be distributed to those who need it most – across the City and further afield.
This year we partnered with Winning Hearts and Minds – an organisation that works to improve heart and mental health in North Manchester - and the British Heart Foundation. We also received support from Manchester Cabins who kindly donated a storage container, free of charge.
Leoni Painter from Winning Hearts and Minds said: “Winning Hearts and Minds would like to thank FC United fans and staff for entrusting us with the collection and distribution of their Big Coat Day. 23 local organisations benefitted from your kind donations, they were greatly received by the organisations and the coats are now being distributed to their service users.”
List of beneficiaries:
- 300X Ignition – Supporting families with autistic children.
- Across Ummah – Supporting families with substance misuse, mental health problems and a food bank.
- North Manchester Community Partnership – Helping those in need gain access to essential advice services.
- Chatterbox – Community centre, playgroup, warm hub, food bank.
- No 93 – Wellbeing centre, foodbank, substance misuse support, cooking groups, mums groups, exercise groups, mental health support.
- MCPA (Manchester Communications Primary Academy) – parental support programme, clothes bank.
- Harpurhey Neighbourhood Centre – Community centre providing support in the heart of Harpurhey.
- Nurturing Foundations – Mentoring, workshops, mental health support and foodbanks based in Harpurhey.
- Blackley Hub – New group supporting the people of Blackley, with issues around housing, debt advice, mental health, benefits advice and a warm hub.
- Church of the Apostles – A social supermarket based in Miles Platting, a place to meet new people.
- Mustard Tree – Homeless Hub
- Lally Centre – Based in Collyhurst and supporting all of north Manchester with advice service, foodbank, family support.
- Reflecteen – Based in Moston offering support for families through engagement, education and enrichment.
- Lifeshare – Young person’s crisis charity, supporting all of Manchester. It’s Mosaic Café has a Homeless Hub – cooked food, foodbank, showers, clothing, sleeping bags, advice and support.
- RAS Scaffolding – Supporting older adults in Monsall & Collyhurst, reducing isolation and cost of living crisis, providing a Christmas lunch in December.
- Barnabus – City centre based charity supporting those experiencing homelessness. Barnabus offer hot food, showers, access to doctors and dentists, provide clothes, also provide support into accommodation, and also run various creative groups for services users and also peer support.
- Manchester Got Talent Communities - Working throughout North Manchester, Sharlene and her team create projects and activities for the local communities, which are mainly based on topical issues/barriers, mainly which affect our youth generation.
- Newleaf Foundations – Based in Newton Heath, providing holistic support to families from disadvantaged backgrounds, to tackle issues around isolation and support a healthier lifestyle physically and mentally.
- Malawi Heritage – Offering support to Gorton and Openshaw, Malawi Heritage UK brings together people of different ethnic minority groups as well as underprivileged individuals, to share skills and ideas.
- Saviour School – Collyhurst school which distributes clothing to students and families.
- Supporting People in Need –20 bed male homeless hostel in Ardwick.
- Homeless Floating Support Service - Part of Manchester City Council based in Abraham Moss, serving all north Manchester, providing support to homeless families.
- Coop North – Community swap shop based in Charlestown. Provides family support and its community hub at Coop North School provides a cooking and laundry area for families in temporary accommodation.
This year’s Big Coat Day has once again proved the potential community impact football clubs can have in their local areas. The list of beneficiaries is something all FC United co-owners should be proud of, working together our club achieves great things.
Our Community Manager said: "As FC United’s Community Manager, I want to express my sincere gratitude to the fans and local community for the incredible support we received during Big Coat Day. Winning Hearts and Minds have led with the efforts in organising and distributing warm clothing, which will provide essential warmth to families in our local community. Together, we've made a significant impact by spreading both warmth and kindness."
If you’re passionate about the role football clubs should play in their communities, why not consider supporting us by becoming a co-owner? For just £25 a year, you will co-own our club – along with 2,200 others – and play a role in demonstrating how football can be governed in a different way, with football and community at its heart. Join us.