A local superhero named UMan has been bringing cheer to the streets of West Yorkshire during lock down and raising vital funds for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
UMan, created by Shaun Weatherhead, is known locally for his work in schools as part of the U Can Shine project. U Can Shine, which has helped inspire more than 75,000 children across the North of England, aims to improve confidence and self-belief amongst young people.
When Shaun’s daughter approached him and asked him if UMan could embark on a special mission to bring cheer to local children, Shaun donned his superhero outfit.
Nine year old Remi said: “I’ve been stuck inside due to the Coronavirus and it feels awful. I’m missing all my friends, teachers, cousins and I really need cheering up. I know there will be more children who don’t have any gardens to play in or brothers or sisters to play with who need cheering up too.”
Adhering to social distancing rules, UMan and his sidekick Remi, have been helping children and families celebrate birthdays and special occasions during the lockdown period by making guest appearances on people’s streets to help improve community wellbeing.
Shaun added: “It was Remi who initially suggested we could use UMan to help spread some cheer amongst children and families at this difficult time, and I thought it was a great idea. We have been extremely careful to ensure that we adhere to social distancing rules when we’re out, but it’s been such a pleasure to bring a smile to all those little faces when we give them a wave! It’s great to be able to bring a bit of positivity to the local communities as well as being able to support the great work of the YAA at the same time.”
The superhero has a strong growing fan base in the Calderdale and Kirklees region and has a calendar packed full of events with donations going towards the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Unable to work until the schools open, Shaun has been doing this voluntarily and in seven short days, the duo have already raised an impressive £598.00 of their £1,000 target.
Angela Vyas, Yorkshire Air Ambulance Community Fundraiser, said: “We cannot thank UMan enough for his enthusiasm, generosity and support towards the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, the money raised will help greatly towards the vital funding of our service.
While we think this is an excellent way of raising vital funds for charity and it’s great to see UMan bringing some much needed cheer to the local community, we would like to encourage people to keep social distancing and abide by the current government rules.”
Please note: all the street walks are organised with local residents and all the public adhere to social distancing at all times. No one has contact with UMan.