Everton in the Community was on the receiving end of a very generous donation earlier this month when the family of the late David Thomas made an overwhelming contribution to the charity’s Disability Development programme.
Rachael Kearney, partner of late Evertonian David Thomas, and Stuart Wall, David’s former business partner, visited 41 Goodison Road to unveil a plaque dedicating the building to David and presented EitC’s Disability Manager Steve Johnson with a cheque totalling £400,000 to further develop the charity’s disabled provision.
Since David’s sad passing in 2013, the Thomas family have been staunch supporters of Everton in the Community and have previously funded two minibuses which provide a life-changing service for the disabled children and adults in Merseyside and allows them to access a range of activities through the charity’s specialist provision.
The recent contribution will allow Everton in the Community’s disability programme to develop and expand its current offering in both day centres, after school clubs and specialist adult fitness sessions as well as supporting, and growing, the charity’s 11 disability teams which are available to those with any disability. The generosity of David Thomas’ family will enable the programme to continue providing football and physical opportunities for thousands of disabled children and adults for many years to come.
Steve Johnson, EitC Disability Manager, said: “This is an amazing donation that we have received from Rachael in memory of David and it will make such a huge difference to the lives of so many across our community. The money will allow us to further expand our disabled provision across Merseyside and help us to develop the programmes we currently deliver in school and at after school clubs as well as the sporting and job opportunities we offer.”
In recognition of the Thomas’ family contribution to Everton in the Community, the charity’s property at 41 Goodison Road has been dedicated to David’s memory with a plaque hanging above the door recognising that the Evertonian ‘never forgot his roots’. 41 Goodison Road is used by the charity’s Youth Engagement team and provides that vital ‘front door’ for young people in crisis to knock at and will provide them with the opportunity to develop key domestic skills and a nurturing environment to coach a young person back into their community.
Speaking after the unveiling of the plaque, Rachael said: “David was a lifelong Everton fan and the charity does so much for people across Liverpool and this dedication reflects his legacy really well. I’m delighted to see David’s name above the door, it means so much to me.”
The disability programme delivered by the Club’s official charity is one of the largest and most respected in the world and provides football and physical activity opportunities for thousands of disabled children and adults each year.
The programme is all inclusive and there are teams available to those with any disability whether that be learning, physical, reduced stature, autism, cerebral palsy, deaf or partially sighted.