Yorkshire’s social distancing superhero has a new mission

Not all heroes wear capes but this one does and he’s on a mission to spread positive news about the vaccination programme.

UMan whose been dubbed the social distancing superhero has been visiting young people throughout the pandemic to focus on improving their health and wellbeing.

UMan now has a new mission thanks to funding from Kirklees Council’s Community Champions programme. The superhero is visiting schools to inspire youngsters about the importance of the vaccination programme. By doing this UMan hopes that they will inform their families of the importance of getting vaccinated.

During the first lockdown in March 2020, UMan began his first COVID-19 mission by visiting local communities across Huddersfield to inspire a message of hope, boost families morale and improve wellbeing whilst people were experiencing incredibly challenging times.

Cllr Carole Pattison, Cabinet Member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said:

“This pandemic has been exceptionally hard for so many people and young people are no exception. It’s inspiring the way in which UMan can engage young people in conversation to talk about the importance of staying healthy and looking after their wellbeing.

“I’m extremely proud of the Community Champions programme of work which has seen local groups from our voluntary sector successfully secure funding to increase vaccination take up. All of our Community Champions are superheroes but just one of them wears a cape.”


Shaun Weatherhead, a.k.a UMan, said:

“UMan is no gimmick, the work he does has a very serious purpose. From the start of the pandemic UMan; from the kids inspirational programme U Can Shine, has visited families and children isolated to provide reassurance in an uncertain period of everyone’s life…visiting thousands across the community.

“The aim now is to inform and support young people to learn about the vaccination programme so that they can take that message home. UMan has been a huge hit on the streets and I’d relish the opportunity to visit more schools in Kirklees and be able to speak to thousands of children.”

Sarah Wilson, Deputy Headteacher at Oak Primary School, said:

“Our pupils recently received a surprise visit from UMan, the social distancing superhero.

“We are excited to be the first school to lead this initiative taking Uman into the classrooms to address the importance of mental health, resilience and confidence.

“As a school we recognise the need for such initiatives in what are extremely challenging times for our children. They have endured a lot individually whether that is the loss off a loved one, spending time away from the classroom and their friends or families that have been affected financially. The impact has been massive on our children.

“UMan’s visit created a buzz and excitement amongst the children and staff. We look forward to working with him some more in the coming weeks.”