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 a former Everton in the Community participant was given support with his finances and wellbeing after his partner lost her job as a result of the lockdown...
Joe*, 20, joined Everton in the Community’s 41 Goodison programme in 2016. He was referred for support after concerns around his involvement in gangs and difficulties at home.
The charity’s 41 Goodison programme offers males and females aged between eight and 19 the opportunity to make significant and lasting life changes, develop confidence and raise their aspirations, while also providing pathways into education, training and employment.
During his time on the programme, Joe worked hard to get his life back on track and secured a job. The 41 Goodison team have kept in regular contact with Joe since he exited the programme and have also provided support to his mum and younger brother.
Joe’s mum and brother have also received regular help through the Blue Family targeted support strand and made staff aware that Joe was now living in his own flat with his girlfriend and may also require assistance.
Everton in the Community staff reached out to Joe, who explained he was the sole earner in the household as his girlfriend had lost her job at the beginning of lockdown and was struggling financially. The pandemic had put a real strain on Joe and left him regularly worrying about money and struggling to afford food and essential items.
The 41 Goodison team discussed a referral with Joe and put together a proposal for ongoing support, including the provision of food essentials and assistance with paying for utilities. The staff were also able to provide Joe and his girlfriend with a new mattress and bedding, and replace a broken washer dryer.
The targeted support EitC has been able to provide Joe though the Blue Family campaign has allowed him a bit of breathing space and flexibility with his finances, while the new mattress and clean bedding will continue to improve his wellbeing and help reduce tiredness. Joe and his partner have also been able to benefit from the charity’s recent Holiday Hunger initiative, in conjunction with Sodexo and Meals & More, to receive deliveries of pre-prepared meals.
Further conversations with Joe resulted in him wanting to get involved with the 41 Goodison programme and use his own experiences and knowledge to help young people turn their lives around and not follow the wrong path.
Moving forwards, the charity will look to support him with volunteering and peer mentoring opportunities to allow him to build up his experience and CV.
“I really appreciate all the support; it’s going to help us loads," said Joe. "I can’t thank Everton in the Community enough.”
*The participant's name has been changed to maintain confidentiality.