The Under-23s' fundraising campaign has kicked off 2017 with a bang with the news that Everton hero Duncan Ferguson has donated £12,000 to their efforts.
The first-team coach and his testimonial committee have pledged their support to the ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ campaign which was revealed towards the end of 2016 by David Unsworth and his squad.
The fundraising campaign was launched with the aim to support young people on the brink of homelessness across the city of Liverpool and the mission will see Unsworth, his backroom staff and the full Under-23 squad work throughout the rest of the season to fund and develop a supported living initiative for young people, delivered by the Blue’s official charity, Everton in the Community.
Upon hearing the inspirational plans to support those most in need in Merseyside, Everton Giant Ferguson immediately decided to donate the remaining funds raised from his 2015/16 testimonial match versus Villarreal to the cause and surprised his former teammate with the news while he was in the midst of a team meeting at Finch Farm.
“When I heard about what Unsy and his lads were doing, myself and my testimonial committee immediately wanted to contribute to help them along with their fundraising. It’s a fantastic initiative which will help so many young people in our city and I wish them all the best with their efforts”, Ferguson told evertontv after presenting Unsworth with the substantial cheque.
FA Cup-winner and fans' favourite Unsworth added: “Big Dunc is a top man and we are so grateful of this gesture. The sky-high opinion I had of this man has just gone even higher and we thank him and his testimonial committee so much for it.
“We’re not going to stop until we reach our target, no matter how long it takes; we are all so committed to this and will be getting involved in a number of different activities to help raise the funds and will be announcing some of our fundraising events in the near future.”
All of the funds raised throughout the campaign will be used to purchase, and operate, a house close to Goodison Park which will offer 16-23-year-olds who have fallen on hard times, or have perhaps fallen out of the care system, a place to stay in Liverpool. Aside from offering young adults a roof over their head in difficult times, the Club’s official charity will also play a large part in their development by providing them with access to key services including health and wellbeing support and assistance with education, employment and training as well as encouraging them to contribute to the local community through the NCS programme and volunteering.
To date ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ has seen almost £40,000 raised through various means including the full Under-23s squad taking part in the Goodison Sleepout in November, the £23,000 donation from Everton’s Board of Directors and Duncan’s testimonial committee’s most recent donation.
You can help to support David Unsworth and his team with their fundraising efforts by visiting evertonfc.com/homeiswheretheheartis.