Manchester Utd teams up with landmine charity for video

Football superclub’s philanthropic arm supports Bobby Charlton’s charity for landmine victim recovery.

Chloe Green | 22nd Aug 18
Image shows Sir Bobby Charlton (right) and Stuart Hughes, the former BBC producer and landmine victim who appears in a new video from landmine charity Find A Better Way.

Manchester United Foundation and Find A Better Way, the landmine charity founded by club legend Sir Bobby Charlton, have launched an awareness-raising YouTube video about the devastating effects of landmines across the world.

The video highlights the fact that there are more than 110m active landmines globally and nine people are killed or maimed by landmines every day. Research indicates that it would cost an estimated £20bn and take over 1,000 years to clear all of the active landmines using current technologies, the charity said.

In the video, BBC News Senior World Affairs Producer Stuart Hughes shares his story of working across the globe when in 2003, while on assignment in northern Iraq, he triggered an anti-personnel landmine. The blast blew-off his right heel and just days later Stuart’s right leg was amputated below the knee.

Find A Better Way was founded in 2011 by Sir Bobby Charlton, who while visiting a minefield in Cambodia, witnessed the humanitarian damage which landmines continue to cause in war-torn regions both past and present.

The former United and England forward felt that there had to be a more efficient way of negating the effects of mines and improving safety and security for local communities whose lives are blighted by them.

The charity is opening Sir Bobby Charlton Centres for Support and Rehabilitation around the world to help victims suffering from both physical and mental trauma. The first centre was opened in Amman, Jordan in August 2017 and is equipped with physiotherapy facilities and practitioners, plus an art-therapy programme designed especially for children coping with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It has been my pleasure to have known Stuart for several years, and I am delighted he has been involved in this project,” said said Lou McGrath, CEO at Find A BetterWay. “His experience makes him an obvious spokesperson for the issue of explosive remnants of war, but his ability to explain the issue clearly and powerfully makes the film special.”

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