Everton in the Community’s mental health campaign, The People’s Place, has been awarded gold in the ‘Best Corporate Social Responsibility Scheme’ category at the 2019 Football Business Awards.
Hosted at City Central at the HAC in London by BBC Match of the Day 2 presenter Mark Chapman, the annual awards recognise the important role clubs and businesses play in enabling the game to be a success on and off the pitch.
Facing tough competition from the likes of Albion in the Community, QPR in the Community Trust and Huddersfield Town Football Club, Everton in the Community was recognised as being best in class for its groundbreaking fundraising campaign, which will see the Club’s official charity build and develop a purpose-built mental health facility close to Goodison Park to promote positive mental health and support anyone in times of need.
Speaking after winning the ‘Best Corporate Social Responsibility Scheme’ award for the second consecutive year, Everton in the Community CEO Richard Kenyon said: “It is an honour to receive this award in recognition of our work to build a new mental health facility, The People’s Place.
"Poor mental health is an ever-growing issue and our planned facility will provide the local community with the support they need, as well as signposting them to our range of mental health programmes.
“Thanks to the generosity of fans, partners and the Football Club, we have raised around £400,000 of our £1million target and will hopefully be able to bring this much-needed facility to Liverpool 4 as soon as possible.”
The judges said that Everton’s Football in the Community scheme has been at the forefront of supporting mental health initiatives in the most deprived areas of Liverpool for a number of years.
An ambitious fundraising project was launched in August 2018 to build ‘The People’s Place’, which will be a permanent mental health facility in the shadows of Goodson.
This facility is evidence the Club is committed to developing further its capability to support mental health in the community in a permanent, sustainable way.
With an illustrious judging panel, selected for their particular experience and expertise, the Football Business Awards has grown into a significant annual networking event and rewards the off-pitch talents and endeavours that are an invaluable, if sometimes invisible, part of the fabric of football.
Everton Football Club and Everton in the Community were shortlisted for a total of six prizes on the night and received bronze awards in both the ‘Best Football Club Hospitality’ and 'Best Operations Team' categories.
The Blues' hospitality team were recognised for delivering a first-class hospitality offering throughout the 2018/19 season and the completion of summer-long lounge refurbishments for the current campaign.
Among the achievements of Everton's operations team over the past 12 months are the implementation and completion of the Club’s accessibility work on the Sir Philip Carter Park Stand viewing platform, all nine hospitality lounges and a statue dedicated to Everton legends Colin Harvey, Howard Kendall and Alan Ball.
For a full list of winners, click here.