Everton in the Community delivers one of the largest and most respected disability football programme in the world as well as offering a number of multi-sport programmes across Merseyside.
Research by Sport England has highlighted that disabled people do not have the same sports opportunities as their non-disabled peers - this project look to change that imbalance.
Another objective of the Disability Empowerment programme is to help every individual who is under the guidance of the Club’s official charity achieve their full potential in sport or in everyday life.
The programme provides football and physical opportunities for thousands of disabled children and adults each year. It is all-inclusive and there are teams available to those with any disability whether that be a learning, physical or sensory disability.
Managed by Steve Johnson since 2003, the programme also offers competitive opportunities for 14 pan-disability and specific impairment teams for children and adults that are available to both males and females. Resulting from this, over 40 players have been selected to represent their country.
Disability Development manager Johnson, was inducted into the Football 'Hall of Fame' in 2008 for his services to amputee football. He amassed more than 130 international caps after making his debut for England in 1988. During this period he won three World Cups and was voted World Amputee Footballer of the Year in 1999.
Over the past five years, various funding opportunities have allowed Everton in the Community to offer free coaching for disabled children in schools across the North West, both during curricular and extra-curricular hours.
Since 2008, Everton in the Community has been delivering daily fun activity workshops at Alder Hey to sick and disabled children and their siblings and also a weekly programme in Whiston Hospital.
The programme also supports disabled people into education, training, employment, volunteering and social opportunities, whilst tackling negative stigma in society and challenging the huge inequalities that still exist.
For more information on the programmes delivered by the charity’s Health and Wellbeing team click here.