Today we bring you the latest in a series of case studies that will highlight the impact of Blue Family, the outreach and engagement campaign launched by Everton and Everton in the Community in March in response to the coronavirus outbreak. This is the story of how the charity has provided vital health and wellbeing support for one participant and her family.
Holly*, 13, is a participant on Everton in the Community’s 12-week 41 Goodison programme.
The initiative works with young people to develop confidence and raise aspirations, while also providing pathways into education, training and employment.
Holly was referred to the charity in August 2019 after having difficulties in school and struggling to manage her emotions, particularly her anger. Holly has four other siblings and lives with her mum in a small flat above a shop.
The family struggle financially and the 41 Goodison team have provided a great deal of bespoke support for them and Holly during her time on the programme, including assistance with essential clothing, footwear and a bus pass.
During her time working with EitC staff, Holly has made notable progress; she completed the 12-week programme and it was clear that she had learnt a lot from the experience. Holly took part in a two-day residential, achieved a number of qualifications and was able to develop her confidence. There was also a marked improvement in her behaviour both in school and at home, while Holly made new friends and clearly enjoyed her time at 41 Goodison. She established strong relationships with staff and these relationships have continued since she left the programme and returned to school.
As part of Everton in the Community’s Blue Family initiative, staff kept in regular contact with all participants and their families, providing them with regular welfare calls and emotional support, and have been on hand to assist with any additional requirements as and when required.
Upon learning Holly and her mum were struggling to buy food as Holly and her siblings would normally benefit from free school meals, 41 Goodison staff arranged for a weekly food delivery and purchased a microwave for the family to assist with food preparation.
The Blue Family initiative also allowed EitC to donate board games to provide the children with some indoor activities, as well as essential household items to improve their living environment, including cupboards and a wardrobe to store the children’s clothing, giving them more space to play.
With the support of Bulky Bob's, Everton in the Community has also been able to help end furniture poverty for the family and provide them with couches, beds and a fridge freezer, creating a nicer and more homely environment for them.
This has helped alleviated some of the stresses on Holly and her mum, in turn strengthening the family unit.
“Thank you for the support you have given to me and my family. Holly loves it at Everton and I will never forget what you have done for my family in such difficult times.” - Holly’s mum.
*The participant's name has been changed to maintain confidentiality.