As both Everton in the Community’s Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive Officer get set to show their support in fighting poverty and homelessness throughout the city, the Club’s official charity is providing an overview into the work it does to tackle these issues all year round.
Denise Barrett-Baxendale and Stephen Raynor will sleep under the Goodison stars on the night of 26 March as part of the North West’s first CEO Sleepout and will be joined by a number of Club staff and other leading business executives from across Merseyside.
The plight was further boosted when former Everton midfielder Gareth Farrelly pledged his support to the Sleepout and will also grace the pitch of the Club he served on the night of 26 March.
Run in partnership with Church Urban Fund and Together Liverpool, CEO Sleepout will look to raise vital funds for some of the poorest and most marginalised people in Merseyside.
But this above concept is but a small gesture in Everton in the Community’s work in providing help to these groups.
The Club’s official charity regularly hosts a People’s Picnics at Goodison Park where it assists local families who have fallen on hard times and gives them the opportunity to enjoy a free hot meal, a game of bingo, a quiz and musical entertainment and take home a selection of supplies from the Blues’ foodbank.
Everton in the Community launched its first food bank appeal in March 2014 and was overwhelmed with donations from supporters and local and national businesses.
Organisations that benefitted included the Whitechapel Centre, who help support people who are sleeping rough, living in hostels or struggling to manage their accommodation.
The items that were collected as a result of the appeal were put to use to help combat the alarming statistic thatat around 13 million people live below the poverty line in the UK, and in the last year alone food banks have fed 346,992 people nationwide. Of those helped, 126,889 were children.
Everton in the Community Staff
Five years ago, Lee Johnson was homeless and accessing services offered by the Whitechapel Centre for people across Liverpool who are sleeping rough. It was at this point he first engaged with Everton in the Community when he attended one of their coaching sessions.
With the support of the Whitechapel Centre and the Club’s official charity, Lee moved into supported living, signed up to become a volunteer and now helps with the Pass on the Memories programme, a ground-breaking programme delivered by the charity that supports people living with dementia in partnership with Mersey Care NHS Trust.
With the help and support of Everton in the Community, Lee has re-built his relationship with his family and gained various qualifications as well as his Level One Coaching badge which he utilises when he assists with the coaching sessions for the people at the Whitechapel Centre.
Ever the generous individual, Lee recently received a £300 donation from G4S and immediately kitted out a homeless football team ran by the Club’s official charity.
Ran by Everton in the Community since September 2014, the Whitechapel Centre’s Homeless team welcomes around 20 attendees every week. The participants enjoy a session of football training, courtesy of Community coaches, before competing against fellow homeless teams from across Merseyside in a County FA organised league.
Those who wish to find out more information on the upcoming CEO Sleepout, or who wish to make a donation, can do so by clicking here.