Everton stars Jordan Pickford and Cuco Martina took part in an exercise and nutrition session earlier this week with young adults from some of Everton in the Community’s award-winning programmes.
As the Club’s official charity celebrates its 30th anniversary, the first team duo took time out of their training schedules to meet participants from the charity’s Safe Hands and Breathing Space programmes to find out more about the work that the charity does with young offenders and children at risk of entering the care system.
Blues shot-stopper Pickford and right-back Martina were put through their paces by EitC staff as they joined young men from the charity’s youth engagement projects in a high intensity circuit session at the Cruyff Court at The People’s Hub before trying their hand at preparing and making their own smoothies.
The Everton pair were then put in the hot seat by the participants when they were grilled on their own diet and exercise schedules and shared some advice about the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle.
After taking part in his first EitC visit, England international Pickford said: “Programmes like this are really important as it help to keep these kids on the right track and hopefully away from any negative distractions. It’s been good to come down here today with Cuco and get stuck in with the football drills and smoothie making. I always enjoy coming to sessions like this and I hope the lads all took something away from it as well.”
EitC Safe Hands and Breathing Space Manager Lara King added: “Our programmes help young people develop their skills and improve their confidence as well as accessing education and employment opportunities. A good understanding of diet and nutrition is key for these young men as a healthy lifestyle is important in the development of physical and mental wellbeing. I’m sure it might have an even bigger impact on them now they’ve been practising their smoothie skills with Jordan and Cuco!”
Safe Hands and Breathing Space are two programmes that are offered by Everton in the Community’s ’41 Goodison Road’ programme which houses the charity’s early intervention and crime reduction programmes. All programmes offered at ’41 Goodison Road’ offer a significant importance to tackling high levels of crime and an emphasis is place on those young people who have or are at risk of offending, in care or leaving care.
162 young people have accessed 41 Goodison in the last year for intense support and more than 2,000 young people have accessed the programme’s early intervention community activities which have reduced crime by 75-82 per cent.