Everton's official charity has been nominated for a top award at the ‘sporting Oscars'.
Everton in the Community's Safe Hands project has been shortlisted in the Best Community Programme category at the 2013 Sport Industry Awards.
The programme is up against five other high profile schemes including BSkyB - Sky Ride 2012, Cricket for Change - Hit The Top, Cricket Foundation - Street Chance, Derby County in the Community - Active Choices and Greater Sport - Greater Manchester Get Coaching Programme.
Everton in the Community's work has been shortlisted three times in the last four years at the Sports Industry Awards, which recognise the best support sport has to offer across a number of areas including marketing, PR, new media, advertising and community.
The Blues' official charity won Best Community Programme in 2010 for its pioneering mental health scheme, Imagine Your Goals, and in 2011 for its world-class disability football scheme.
Nick Keller, Chairman of the Sport Industry Group, said: "2012 marked a remarkable year for sport in the UK, with London 2012 at the heart of it. But what made this past year so memorable is the work that was put in to ensure that success, not just on the track, field, or pool, but online, on TV, on billboards and in stadia. Being named on the official shortlist for the Sport Industry Awards is definitive proof that a team, brand or organisation's work has been amongst the very best in its field across an entire year."
Launched in 2012, Safe Hands is a five-year project that targets young offenders in the Merseyside area, aiming to help them integrate back into society after leaving secure care. The scheme will support 150 individuals, both male and female, aged between 15 and 21. It utilises education, sport, media and the arts to help get them back on their feet and into training, employment or further education, and to prevent them from offending.
The project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund ‘Youth in Focus' programme, works with young offenders prior to release with an individual support package being implemented to prepare them for the outside world.
Once released, the participants undertake an extensive programme of activities tailored towards their individual needs to help them integrate back into and build positive relationships with their communities.
At the end of the programme cycle, it is hoped each participant will be supported into either employment, further education or the Safe Hands peer mentoring programme.
The shortlist will now go forward for consideration by the main judging panel to decide the winners in each category. The results will be announced at the star-studded Sport Industry Awards ceremony on Wednesday, 2 May 2013.
For more information about Everton in the Community, visit evertonfc.com/community.