OUR CAMPAIGN TO COMBAT ISOLATION AND SUPPORT SOCIETY'S MOST VULNERABLE
On Thursday 19 March, Everton Football Club and Everton in the Community launched ‘Blue Family’, a coordinated outreach and engagement campaign to maintain contact with fans and provide vital support and assistance to some of the most vulnerable, socially isolated and at-risk members of the community in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The past two months has seen the 'Blue Family' campaign work to maintain and extend the reach of the Club and the charity following the closure of all Club sites, the suspension of football fixtures and the postponement of most community programme delivery.
Kick-started with a £50,000 donation from Everton Football Club to fund the launch and initial outreach activities, Club and community staff have been reallocated to ensure the effective delivery of the campaign.
The Blue Family outreach activity includes:
- Fans and members of the community in greatest need contacted by Everton in the Community staff to deliver tailored and focused support, assistance and guidance, including:
- Essential food parcels distribution, including breakfast packs for young children
- Financial assistance for prescription purchases and delivery
- Mobile phone credit for those living alone and with limited support networks
- Support with gas and/or electricity vouchers for those facing increased fuel bills
- Mental health support and advice
- A referral service for access to Everton in the Community’s support provision
- Calls from the Everton Fan Centre to thousands of fans to maintain contact and provide a friendly voice to talk to, prioritising the elderly and isolated
- Increased communication through the Club’s email, social media and web platforms to share important public information and deliver engaging content for those in isolation
- Exercise and mindfulness videos provided by trained staff from the Club and Everton in the Community
To date, Blue Family has supported more than 3,800 families and individuals across Liverpool with more than 1,950 welfare and check-in calls being made by staff, players and Club Ambassadors to fans, participants and members of the community in greatest need.
Everton in the Community staff have delivered more than 1,000 emergency food parcels and distributed emergency foodbank vouchers in addition to purchasing and delivering medical prescriptions and gas and electricity vouchers as well as supporting other initiatives and charities across the city including North Liverpool Foodbanks, Fans Supporting Foodbanks and Liverpool 6 Community Centre.
Everton CEO, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale said: “Society is facing an unprecedented challenge. Everton has never shied away from its responsibility as a Club at the heart of the community. As we face up to a new reality brought by the coronavirus pandemic, we are embracing that responsibility more than ever. We are determined to do everything we can to provide assistance and support to our fans and the wider community, with particular focus on those at greatest risk.”
Everton in the Community’s Neighbourhood team continue to be on hand to support the 10,000+ residents living within the immediate vicinity of Goodison Park – one of the most socially deprived wards in England – and has provided housing and money management support as well as advice on benefits and Universal Credit in addition to support for local refugees and asylum seekers through the charity’s ongoing relationship with British Red Cross.
Everton in the Community’s Youth Engagement team continues to maintain contact with the young people on its programmes and have increased its wrap-around support package including intense mentoring, bespoke support and necessities for its more vulnerable participants and families as well as preparing tools and resources to support rising anxiety concerns and possible bereavement support that might be needed now and in the future.
The charity is also working to provide additional support for the families of its young participants as well as ensuring that the appropriate support and assistance is in place for vulnerable families of its 60 partner schools across the Liverpool City Region. As all of its delivery takes place in areas of mass deprivation across Liverpool City Region, Everton in the Community will be increasing its outreach work to provide further support to families who have been identified as a top priority and may be struggling due to loss of income.
‘Blue Family’ has also seen the Club and charity introduce a referral form enabling fans and the wider public to refer people they believe may need support or a friendly voice to speak to at this difficult time. In addition to a phone call, Everton in the Community staff are also able to assist vulnerable, elderly, at-risk and socially isolated individuals within the Liverpool area with food deliveries, prescription drop-offs and other support services.
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