Everton in the Community chief executive Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale spent Thursday night at Goodison Park participating in the CEO Sleepout.
Denise was joined by ex-Everton midfielder Gareth Farrelly
, several members of Club staff and almost 50 leading business figures from across the city in sleeping outdoors to help combat poverty and homelessness in Merseyside.
The event was a success, with over £30,000 raised, adding to the £300,000 generated in from previous sleepout events at Wembley Stadium, Cardiff Castle, St James’ Park and the Riverside Stadium.
Also involved were a host of other community leaders, including Jenny Stewart, CEO of Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce, Bishop of Liverpool Paul Bayes, and Ann O'Byrne, Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing Liverpool Council.
Those partaking arrived at Goodison late on Thursday evening equipped with sleeping bags, before bedding down for the night in the Park End. They surfaced early on Friday morning, reflected on their experiences at St Luke’s church, with many then heading away for a day’s work.
“We were delighted to host the event,” said Denise. “At Everton in the Community we work tirelessly all year round to improve the lives of others and to try to stamp out poverty and homelessness. Every day we have programmes out in the community, really trying to combat the issue alongside lots of our partners.
“We put a challenge out there and had a fantastic turnout from people in the business community. If each one of the different organisations can help just one person, that’s fantastic. It can help give them basic human needs like shelter and food. For me, that’s really important.”
Former Toffee Farrelly echoed Denise’s comments and said it was humbling to spend a night in conditions many experience daily throughout the city.
“It makes you think a bit differently about what people have to go through,” said the former Republic of Ireland international who is now training to be a solicitor and became aware of the event through the Everton Former Players’ Foundation.
“It’s been nice to raise some money and have an appreciation for people who are less fortunate than we are.”
Even though the event has now passed, there is still time to help Denise raise as much money as possible. To donate, click here