Funding Boost Extends Blue Family Provision

Everton in the Community is pleased to announce its work across the Blue Mile has been boosted by two £5,000 grants from Medicash and LCR Cares which will provide a new strand to its Blue Family campaign and enable the charity to provide further personal and tailored support to its residents going forward.

The dual donations will enable the charity’s Neighbourhood team to further increase the support and provision it is providing to local residents and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic including a befriending check-in call service called ‘Blue Buddy’ to existing participants.

Everton Football Club and its official charity launched its Blue Family campaign on 19 March to provide vital support and assistance to some of the most vulnerable, socially isolated and at-risk members of the community during the current climate as well as those living in the Blue Mile.

The Blue Mile is the one-mile radius surrounding Goodison Park (Kirkdale, Anfield, County and Everton) is one of the most socially deprived areas in the country. 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’s Neighbourhood team has continued to be on hand to support the 10,000+ residents living in the Blue Mile and has provided emergency food parcel and 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.

The generous grants from Medicash and LCR Cares will allow EitC to support existing participants of its various Neighbourhood projects to help prevent residents becoming lonely, isolated or experiencing poor mental health. The Blue Buddy strand of the Blue Family campaign will see the Neighbourhood team introduce further support and provision to its residents such as a phone and email service to maintain connectivity and ongoing communication, health and wellbeing support via online exercise and nutrition programmes and continued production of children’s resources with a focus on education and mental wellbeing.

Everton in the Community has a long-standing relationship with Medicash, the UK’s oldest healthcare cash plan provider, having supported the charity’s health and wellbeing work and disability programmes over the last decade, providing vital funding for life-saving initiatives such as community heart screening events.

LCR Cares was launched by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram in partnership with registered charity Community Foundation for Merseyside to support local community and voluntary organisations on the frontline of helping the city region’s communities cope with the impact of Coronavirus.

Everton in the Community Neighbourhood Manager, Sarah Atherton, said: “I would like to thank Medicash and LCR Cares for their continued support of our work – this funding will enable us to further develop our community outreach in the fourth most deprived area of the UK where isolating and vulnerable families need our support now more than ever."

Andy Roberts, Finance & IT Director at Medicash and Trustee of The Medicash Foundation, said: “The past few months has seen the UK go through a period of unprecedented crisis with severe impacts on our local communities and the charities working hard to support them. We were delighted to be able to team up with Everton in the Community to continue to support our local communities when they need it most. The Blue Buddy strand of Blue Family is particularly important as it is there to help support the physical and mental wellbeing of those individuals who might be feeling isolated or forgotten in their time of need.”

Rae Brooks, Chief Executive for the Community Foundation for Merseyside, said: “The LCR Cares COVID-19 Community Support Fund has distributed more than £940,000 to community and voluntary organisations on the frontline who are supporting those most in need. Among those many incredible organisations is Everton in the Community and its Blue Buddy strand of the Blue Family campaign which is supporting many who are vulnerable and socially isolated. The detrimental impact of this emergency will be evident for many months to come. To enable us to continue supporting the work of groups like Everton in the Community, we are calling on those – with the capacity to do so – to donate to the LCR Cares COVID-19 Community Support Fund.”