Today’s game against Huddersfield Town has been designated as Everton’s Kick It Out Match of Action and a host of activities will be taking place in and around the stadium to celebrate diversity across Merseyside.
Everton’s support of Kick It Out is complemented by the work of Everton in the Community and, all year round, the Blues’ official charity works with Kick It Out and other leading organisations to encourage equality and diversity across Merseyside and is committed to supporting all members of the community, regardless of their race, gender, creed or sexual orientation.
Established in 1993, Kick It Out is a campaigning organisation which enables, facilitates and works with the football authorities, professional clubs, players, fans and communities to tackle all forms of discrimination.
The Club’s combined work with EitC in positively encouraging equality and diversity was recently awarded with the inaugural ‘Kick It Out Promoting Inclusion Award’ at the Leesa Northwest Football Awards, in recognition of its continuous efforts in making football in the North West more accessible and inclusive.
Everton in the Community run a number of highly successful age-specific programmes and initiatives which have been recognised and commended nationally for the successful impact they have for Merseyside residents, including Pass on the Memories and Kicks.
Delivered in partnership with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, Pass on the Memories is a pioneering programme that supports people living with dementia and their carers, whilst Kicks is an initiative that offers free football coaching in a bid to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour to young people across Merseyside and is delivered in partnership with Merseyside Police and the local council.
Everton in the Community’s disability programme 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.
Everton Football Club continuously work to improve the matchday experience for disabled supporters. Goodison Park has undergone, over the course of 2017, a major development programme to improve the stadium’s accessibility for disabled supporters.
After the Blues' final home game of the 2016/17 season, work began in response to regulations for accessibility agreed by the Premier League. The Club consulted with the Everton Disabled Supporters’ Association (EDSA), the Everton Fans’ Forum, CAFE, Level Playing Field, Autism Adventures and Liverpool City Council over plans to offer a range of more expansive viewing options for disabled fans.
The Club and charity’s work in promoting equality continues with gender. Everton in the Community delivers grassroots football sessions for women and girls between the ages of 14 and 25 within the city under the banner of the Premier League Women and Girls. Supported by the FA, Sport England, Premier League and the Football League, the season-long coaching programme will be run over two years.
In October 2014, the charity launched Girls on Side, a Mersey Care NHS Trust-funded project to engage females with mental health issues into social activities. The main aim is to increase self-esteem and confidence.
Everton Football Club has its own Ladies team who compete in the FA WSL 1, the highest division of women's football in England and was formed in 1983 as Hoylake WFC before becoming part of Everton Football Club. The team have won the Premier League National Division once, the Premier League Cup once, and the FA Women's Cup twice.
Everton in the Community works throughout the year to support Black History Month and to promote knowledge of black history, cultural and heritage, as well as working to heighten the confidence and awareness of black people to their cultural heritage.
Show Racism the Red Card is annual event hosted by Everton where local children visit Goodison Park for an educational session focused on racism and discrimination on and off the pitch.
St Luke’s Church is an Anglican Church in Walton that is located between the Gwladys Street End and Goodison Road stands of Goodison Park. As well as serving the community of the small but densely populated parish, the church enjoys a good relationship with Everton Football Club. On regular matchdays, the church opens up two-and-a-half hours before kick-off for supporters to come and find out more about the history of the Club via the Everton Heritage Society.
For the past four years, the Club and EitC have taken positive steps to support the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and have taken part in the Liverpool Gay Pride event.
In recent years, positive support has also been given to IDAHOBIT (International Day against Homophobia), Transgender Day of Remembrance and Stonewall Rainbow Laces.
An integral part of Everton’s LGBT community are the Rainbow Toffees, an affiliated supporters group of Everton Football Club who come together regularly to meet up, gain visibility for the group and support the Toffees.
The group accepts anyone who support diversity and equality and work to raise awareness of LGBT issues in the sports world and improve acceptance of who they are in the sporting community.