Everton’s Blue Family initiative has received a welcome boost from Community Shop, an award-winning social enterprise, which has committed to donating 100 emergency food parcels each week for Everton in the Community to distribute to those most in need during the coronavirus pandemic.
Community Shop is part of Company Shop Group, which is the UK’s largest redistributor of surplus food and products. Community Shop operates five social supermarket stores across England, including in Halton, providing members who receive welfare support and live locally with access to heavily discounted food and products. Members can also access life-changing personal development services which aim to build stronger individuals and more confident communities.
The team at Community Shop reached out to the Club’s official charity to pledge its support to its Blue Family campaign and will be donating 100 emergency food parcels a week for three months that will be given to elderly, vulnerable and socially isolated members of our community as well as Blue Mile residents. Community Shop has already donated 200 food parcels packed with essential items such as pasta, rice, cereal, tinned items, UHT milk and biscuits and the social enterprise is exploring additional ways to support local families living in poverty with donated food supplies targeted at children.
In approach to Easter weekend, Community Shop donated 500 Easter eggs to Blue Family which Everton in the Community staff personally hand delivered to participants from its PL Kicks programme to engage with families and check-in with them during this difficult time. Eggs were also donated to Huyton Hey Manor Care Home to help lift residents spirits as well as being donated to residents living in the Blue Mile.
Everton in the Community CEO Richard Kenyon said: “We are extremely grateful to Community Shop for their support of our Blue Family campaign and the generous donation of food parcels. We have already started distributing them across our community and they have been welcomed by individuals and families who are really struggling with their finances and access to food supplies. The values and goals of Everton in the Community and the Community shop are very closely aligned and we look forward to what I’m sure will be a very positive long-term relationship.”
Natalie Brown, Head of Community Shop, said: “We are incredibly proud to be working so closely with Everton in the Community on this initiative and by working together we are helping to provide a life-line to our local communities at a time when they need us most.
“We have been pleased to be able to rapidly scale up our operation and by leveraging our existing infrastructure and logistical capacity, have been able to provide immediate food access and support. We are hugely grateful for the hard work that has gone in to making these food parcels by both our Community Shop team in Halton and Everton in the Community.
“We hope to be able to continue to provide support in the region, as we aim to make a difference by supporting even more families and changing even more lives”.
Delivered collaboratively by Everton Football Club and its official charity, Blue Family is a coordinated outreach and engagement campaign to maintain contact with fans and participants as well as provide tailored and focused support, assistance and guidance to some of the most vulnerable, socially isolated and at-risk members of our community during these uncertain times.
The weeks of the Blue Family campaign has seen Club and charity staff provide vital support and assistance for almost 2,500 individuals and families in need across Liverpool in wake of the coronavirus pandemic and has reached out to fans and members of the community in greatest need with more than 1,500 check-in phone calls being made by staff, players and individuals whilst a referral service for access to Everton in the Community’s support provision has received more than 370 applications for support and assistance for individuals ranging in age from 18-years-old to 98.
Blue Family has also provided essential food parcels, financial assistance for prescription purchases and delivery, support with gas and/or electricity vouchers and mental health support and advice.