2019 saw Everton in the Community celebrate a record-breaking year with more than 145,000 individuals across the Liverpool City Region and beyond having engaged with the official charity of Everton Football Club.
Everton Football Club resides in the Kirkdale ward of Liverpool, which falls in the most deprived five per cent of neighbourhoods nationally. More than half of the children in the area live in poverty while the area in general faces challenges such as high unemployment, crime and health, housing and education problems. Everton in the Community delivers more than 40 programmes a year, specifically designed and developed to combat these challenges which are prevalent across Merseyside. Its social programmes tackle issues such as mental health, employability, dementia, education, disability, poverty and homelessness.
The charity’s programmes support people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds from more than 130 venues across the city region. From delivering the Premier League Primary Stars programme to school children from the age of five-years-old to supporting the elderly members of the Liverpool community who are suffering from social isolation with its ‘Stand Together’ programme, Everton in the Community is open and inclusive to all.
The official charity of Everton Football Club employs 130 full-time staff and has an ever-growing accredited volunteer programme which last year saw more than 240 volunteers dedicate more than 9,500 hours to the Liverpool community and the last five years has seen Everton in the Community invest £10million into derelict land and buildings in Liverpool 4, bringing it into public use and putting pride and value back into the area.
A recent Societal Value Report, authored by socio-economic specialist consultants RealWorth, reveals that the work of Everton in the Community benefited the local economy by £222.3million between 2016 and 2019, an average of £55.6million per year. The report calculated that the charity generated £14.74 of societal value for every £1 invested through its groundbreaking work.
2019 saw Everton in the Community achieve success with a tender to deliver a mental health and suicide prevention programme for middle-aged men across Cheshire and Merseyside in partnership with Edge Hill University and State of Mind, with the aim of implementing suicide interventions that target those at risk, enhance suicide prevention skills and raise men’s awareness and ability to identify and act on mental health problems.
2019 also saw Everton in the Community awarded the Diamond Quality Mark in recognition of its Payroll Giving scheme as well as scooping first place in the ‘Best Campaign – Not-For-Profit’ category at the prestigious Payroll Giving Excellence Awards. Meanwhile the charity’s ever-popular volunteer programme achieved the Investing in Volunteers accreditation in recognition of its commitment to ensuring that volunteers receive the best possible support while donating their time to the Club’s official charity.
Everton in the Community appointed a GP who is situ at The People’s Hub one day a week, providing local residents with advice and guidance about leading a healthier lifestyle. Recruiting a GP for the local community and its participants is a first for a Premier League charitable arm and the 12-month GP fellowship has been funded by Health Education England. The appointment will see the charity work alongside Health Education England to build on its work in addressing and tackling health inequalities across Liverpool 4, with people from the local area often experiencing high rates of drug and alcohol misuse with associated mental health problems as well as higher rates of heart disease and mortality from cancer and other related diseases.
The last 12 months has seen fundraising for The People’s Place pass £400,000 with events such as first-ever Everton themed ‘If You Know Your History 5K’, a glittering gala dinner and the charity’s first ever hug-a-thon with Andre Gomes!
Another new addition to the Liverpool 4 community in 2019 was the introduction of the Everton Spirit Choir, a weekly rehearsal at The Blue Base for anyone with a passion for singing and enjoying the benefits that singing as part of a choir can bring, such as increased social interaction and improved physical and mental wellbeing. The Everton Spirit Choir is led by a professional choirmaster and has proved to be a big success with the choir soon looking to perform at residential homes to entertain the elder members of the local community who are perhaps suffering from social isolation.
Everton in the Community has also further developed its work in supporting those at risk of social isolation with the recent launch of ‘Hanging Up Our Boots Together’, a programme supporting males and females aged 60+ who are retired or nearing retirement. The Premier League funded programme directly engages with workplaces and individuals to help support them in the transition from employment into retirement and offers a comprehensive social interaction programme to keep them socially connected and positively engaged in community activities.
The work of the charity isn’t just limited to the United Kingdom; the last year has seen its staff supporting refugees and host communities in the West Nile region in Uganda, delivering social action work to families living in poverty in Nakuru, Kenya as well as teaching basic football skills to children living in America, Switzerland and Hong Kong through its Soccer Schools programmes. The charity’s work in supporting refugees in Uganda is an extension of its weekly football coaching sessions in Liverpool 4 for refugees, asylum seekers and people currently experiencing, or have experienced, homelessness or addiction issues. The weekly sessions provide an opportunity for local men to play football as well as accessing vital support and finding out more about potential pathways. With support from Asylum Link Merseyside, the programme helps to facilitate integration and creating a safe haven for them. Let’s take a look back at just some of the charity’s key highlights from 2019:
- We hosted football’s first ever hug-a-thon with Andre Gomes to raise vital funds, and awareness, for The People’s Place.
- With help and support from EitC and the Premier League Primary Stars programme, Knowsley Lane Primary School were rated ‘Outstanding’ in its OFSTED report.
- The charity’s Disability Manager Steve Johnson received a ‘Points of Light’ award from former Prime Minister Theresa May in recognition of his volunteer work with England Amputee Football Association.
- EitC welcomed Walton MP Dan Carden to Liverpool 4 to provide an update on the impact that the charity is having on his constituency and beyond as well as giving him the opportunity to see some of the programmes in action.
- Everton in the Community celebrated turning 31 with an array of activity at the Club’s home game against Crystal Palace including a bucket collection, street parade, lounge raffles and junior mascots!
- Under-23s trio Anthony Gordon, Ryan Astley and Mateusz Hewelt spent the afternoon with pupils from Hillside Primary School to find out more about the charity’s ‘Tackling the Blues’ programme that supports young people who are experiencing, or are at risk of, developing mental health problems.
- Our ‘Blue Garden’ received coverage in the New York Times! We transformed a former patch of waste land off Langham Street into a small garden for the local community as well as growing vegetables and herbs that are used in our Youth Zone cookery sessions.
- First team stars Yerry Mina and Seamus Coleman invited the charity’s Down Syndrome team to USM Finch Farm for an extra-special training session in celebration of World Down Syndrome Day.
- Everton in the Community hosted a glittering gala dinner at the Titanic Hotel in aid of The People’s Place and raised more than £60,000 for the mental health campaign on the night.
- With the help of Theo Walcott and Michael Keane, young Evertonian Alfie launched ‘Alfie’s Squad’ – a fundraising campaign to develop a children’s service within The People’s Place.
A group of EitC volunteers and NCS graduates travelled to Nakura, Kenya to take part in a social action project with African Adventures. The group worked in two local primary schools and brought happiness – and clean water supplies – to the village during their stay.
- Blues duo Leighton Baines and Tom Davies found out more about two of the charity’s mental health programmes when they met participants from ‘Stand Together’ and ‘Active Blues’ at USM Finch Farm – the visit was also covered by BBC Match of the Day as the charity’s annual community segment.
- Everton FC Amputees flew the flag for England as they competed in the inaugural European Amputee Football Federation Champions League in Georgia. The Everton Amputee team represented the UK in a competition that consisted of title winners from Russia, Poland, Georgia, Turkey and Republic of Ireland.
- Blues defender Yerry Mina was named as the Club’s PFA Community Champion for 2018.19 in recognition of his charitable and community efforts off the pitch.
- 20 football fans took part in ‘The Speed Cycle’ in memory of former Blues midfielder Gary Speed and cycled more than 230 miles around all his former clubs to raise funds and awareness for The People’s Place.
- Everton Football Club became the first football club in the UK to receive the Diamond Quality Mark for its Payroll Giving scheme in aid of Everton in the Community. The 2018.19 season saw more than 30% of the Everton workforce sign up to the initiative.
- Ahead of the first team squad taking on Kariobangi Sharks in Kenya, staff from EitC travelled to Africa to deliver a series of health and wellbeing workshops and coaching sessions to the local community to help raise aspirations and leave a lasting legacy in the country.
- Health and Wellbeing Manager Johnnie Garside joined more than 100 leaders in New York for the inaugural ‘Stay in the Game Forum’ where he presented on the potential of using sport as a platform to promote mental wellness.
- Blues trio Leighton Baines, Yerry Mina and Cenk Tosun visited Prescot Soccer Centre to surprise youngsters taking part in an Everton in the Community Soccer School.
- Everton in the Community joined forces with Cineworld Speke to host a special screening of ‘Angry Birds 2’ during the school holidays to raise funds for the charity.
- The charity appointed a GP who is in situ at The People’s Hub one day a week, providing local residents with advice and guidance about leading a healthier lifestyle.
- Everton Women pledge their commitment to supporting the work of Everton in the Community by committing one day a month to visit different projects and get involved in sessions with our participants.
- A host of first-team stars joined Duncan Ferguson and Marcel Brands in donning their finest suits for Everton in the Community’s 2020 charity calendar, ‘Suited Not Booted’ to help raise funds for The People’s Place.
- In partnership with BTR Liverpool, Everton in the Community hosted its first ever Everton themed ‘If You Know Your History 5k’ run. More than 450 fans took part in the inaugural event which saw them retrace 141-years of the Club’s history.
- Players from the charity’s 10 disability teams were all recognised and celebrated at Everton in the Community’s annual Disability Awards. Supported by Charities Trust and SportTech, the awards were also attended by Leighton Baines and Yerry Mina.
- Seamus Coleman helped to relaunch PL Kicks with a visit to Litherland High School and found out more about the Premier League funded project that encourages young people to take part in positive activities whilst having fun and raising their aspirations and confidence.
- Everton in the Community received the gold award at the prestigious Football Business Awards in London in the ‘Best Corporate Social Responsibility Scheme’ for The People’s Place.
- The charity’s Health and Wellbeing Manager Johnnie Garside was invited to present on the charity’s work in supporting refugees in Northern Uganda at an event hosted at the Houses of Parliament.
- Our Apprenticeship programme added to its list of graduates as seven individuals successfully completed their Foundation Degree in ILM L5 Diploma for Operational Management qualification.
- The charity welcomed Charity Commission Chair, the Right Honorable Baroness Tina Stowell MBE to Liverpool 4 to find out more about our work and the impact Everton in the Community has on the local community.
- Award-winning firm Condylofthouse Architects named Everton in the Community as its 2020 ‘Charity of the Year’, committing their support to The People’s Place.
- Young Evertonian Alfie, and founder of ‘Alfie’s Squad’, was recognised as ‘Young Fundraiser of the Year’ at the glittering Pride of Sport Awards in London.
For more information on Everton in the Community and its programmes, head to its website page here.