A KNUTSFORD-based charity has teamed up with the country's most successful football club.
Find A Better Way, in Booths Park, has agreed a unique partnership with Manchester United.
Sir Bobby Charlton, United legend, was inspired to found the charity following a 2008 visit to Cambodia where he saw first-hand the devastating impact of explosive remnants of war local communities were struggling with every day.
Especially aware of the slow pace of demining following a conflict, Sir Bobby was convinced that by using modern technological developments it must be possible to “find a better way.’
Three years later, Find A Better Way was founded to support work in three areas: assisting those already working clear landmines by supporting the development of better detection systems, providing education projects to reduce the devastating impact of landmines on civilian populations and developing medical techniques that will better the lives of those who fall victim to these appalling weapons.
In the last five years Find A Better Way has funded projects in all three areas of its focus: including eight detection research programmes at leading universities in the UK and Croatia, mine-risk education projects in Colombia and Sri Lanka through our partners Spirit of Soccer, and blast injury surgical training for surgeons working in former conflict zones. In December 2016 a £2.5 million grant for regenerative medicine was awarded to the University of Glasgow by Find A Better Way to develop 3D-printed bone to help reconstruct limbs of blast trauma victims.
The special partnership sees the club link up with Sir Bobby, a club director and ambassador, to raise awareness of the landmine charity. The partnership will also involve the development of partnership education initiatives with the club’s charity, Manchester United Foundation, who work with over 20,000 young people each year.
Sir Bobby said: “I am very grateful for the support of my club, Manchester United, for joining my efforts to assist in the detection of landmines and to lessen the impact of this devastating weapon on communities throughout the world.”
Ed Woodward, executive vice-chairman, said: “As a club we are delighted to support Sir Bobby Charlton in his vision of a landmine free world for future generations.
“Landmines are a global problem and as a club with over 659 million fans across the world, we want to reach out and educate them on the devastating effects of landmines. This could well be something fans recognise within their own communities or by supporting Find A Better Way to help improve and develop effective detection tools and methods to free the globe of landmines.”
Find a Better Way Chief Executive, Lou McGrath OBE, said: “Despite a global treaty signed by 164 countries, the millions of landmines already laid throughout the world, continue to maim and kill children, women and men.
“Find A Better Way supports research into better detection of landmines and better prosthetic support for victims. Its sports and education projects help warn of the dangers of landmines and how to live and play in safety. We are very grateful to Manchester United Football Club for its support and are proud of such a partnership."