With Everton in the Community (EitC) currently immersed in Blue Family, the campaign jointly launched with Everton to maintain contact with fans and support and assist the most vulnerable and at-risk community members during the coronavirus pandemic, evertonfc.com is shining a light on the charity's efforts across Merseyside and beyond.
Today, we are looking back at February's EitC Showcase event, which saw manager Carlo Ancelotti, Director of Football Marcel Brands and First-Team Coach Duncan Ferguson join the first-team squad at in pledging their ongoing support to the charity and its work by signing a commitment pledge.
The 2019/20 Showcase highlighted the life-changing and life-saving work of EitC and, with almost 100 participants in attendance, the players learned about the charity's programmes by engaging in a number of activities.
And this year evertontv employed a special roving reporter in Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who interviewed his teammates during the event!
See how Calvert-Lewin got on as he grilled Club captain Seamus Coleman, midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin… and grabbed an exclusive first English-spoken interview with Yerry Mina!
Watch DCL's evertontv debut and learn more about the work of Everton in the Community in the video above or by clicking here.
This year's Showcase celebrated EitC's 32nd birthday, with the entire first-team squad spending time finding out more about the charity's flagship programmes.
The Showcase was Manager Carlo Ancelotti’s first time in witnessing the work of EitC and, after pledging his support to the charity, he visited each of the event's six activity stations, learning about the initiatives as well as meeting the participants who directly benefit from them.
The Blues boss said: “From the first day I was here, I was told about the fantastic work of the Club’s charity and the impact it has on the lives of so many people.
"I was very pleased to see some of its programmes in action and I feel that it is important that myself and my squad are fully supportive of Everton in the Community and have a thorough understanding of how it helps the people of Liverpool.”
Leighton Baines, Alex Iwobi and Tom Davies joined participants from EitC’s Aged Veterans programme, finding out more about how the charity supports elderly ex-service personnel who are at risk of social isolation, and got stuck into a show and tell activity with the gentlemen who proudly displayed medals, photographs and other interesting artefacts from their army careers.
Meanwhile, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lucas Digne, Djibril Sidibe and Maarten Stekelenburg took part in a multi-sports disability session with young children from a local Special Educational Needs school.
EitC delivers sessions at 10 special schools across Merseyside each week, helping children develop key skills such as communication, team-work, listening and basic movement whilst providing them with social interaction opportunities.
On the opposite side of the indoor pitch at USM Finch Farm, Blues legend Duncan Ferguson joined young people from the charity’s 41 Goodison programme along with Seamus Coleman, Fabian Delph and Andre Gomes as they got to grips with a series of team-building games and challenges, all designed to improve communication and social skills.
EitC’s 41 Goodison programme works with the most high-risk young people and provides them with the opportunities to make significant and lasting life changes whilst providing pathways into education, training and employment.
Seamus Coleman has been a proud supporter of Everton in the Community throughout his time at the Club and reflecting on the Showcase said: “We all enjoy getting involved with the charity and helping to put a smile on people’s faces. Everton in the Community is a massive part of our football club and we are delighted to do it.
"It’s a big part of our job and, obviously we are very fortunate to be in the position we’re in, but to give back to the community is very important.
"I’m very proud of the club that we have this going and we’re the best in the Premier League for what we do.”
Meantime, Richarlison joined Theo Walcott and Cuco Martina in finding out more about the work the charity does in empowering young people to effect positive social change when they spent time playing football and learning basic CPR skills with young people from EitC’s PL Kicks programme.
Delivered across Merseyside every night of the night, PL Kicks provides a safe environment for young people to have fun and raise their aspirations and confidence as well as teaching valuable life skills and promoting positive messages.
Blues quartet Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jordan Pickford, Morgan Schneiderlin and Joao Virginia met young people from local secondary schools as they found out more about the PL Inspires programme and how the Club’s official charity delivers a number of programmes focused on education which aims to improve the motivation, confidence and self-esteem of the participants they engage with.
With the help of the pupils, the players took part in series of game show activities all designed to develop a motivation for learning, communication and the importance of working as a team.
Giving his thoughts on the EitC Showcase, Blues forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin said: “Days like this are always a very humbling experience and for us as players to be able to put smiles on the faces of the people that come here is an unbelievable thing.
"It’s one thing that we can’t take for granted and it’s nice to be able to do what we do.”
The final activity station saw Yerry Mina, Bernard, Anthony Gordon and Oumar Niasse take part in a Pathways to Sport programme and join primary school children in getting stuck into a variety of sports and challenges which were all delivered by young adults who have recently completed a 12-week programme with EitC.
The charity’s Pathways programme aims to support individuals who are not in education, employment or training and offers a structured 12-week course to anybody aged 16-25 where learners can gain qualifications whilst developing key personal and social skills, ultimately making them more confident to succeed in their chosen pathway.
Established in 1988, EitC delivers a range of programmes to tackle key social issues that are prevalent across Merseyside including mental health, disability, poverty, social inclusion and education.
The Blues’ official charity aims to instil confidence in people by creating life-changing opportunities and tens of thousands of people have already benefited from the magnificent work it does.