Everton will reaffirm its commitment to access and inclusion for all fans by supporting Level Playing Field’s #WeeksofAction at Monday’s home game against Southampton (8pm kick-off GMT).
Now in its 17th season, Level Playing Field's annual #WeeksOfAction campaign (Saturday 27 February-Sunday 14 March) looks to shine a light on the positive work being done by clubs, Disabled Supporters’ Associations, fans and other organisations towards access and inclusion.
Everton has designated the game against Southampton as its official Level Playing Field fixture, and Everton Disabled Supporters' Association (EDSA) will be the Blues’ virtual mascot for the match - the first time that a group of supporters, rather than an individual, has taken part in the activity.
EDSA will also be the Supporters' Club of the match, appearing in the Club’s Everton Live matchday show, across LEDs at Goodison Park, and will take part in a pre-match Zoom call with an Everton Ambassador. The EDSA flag will be displayed prominently in the stadium, and the Level Playing Field logo will also appear on matchday screens.
Throughout Level Playing Field's annual #WeeksofAction campaign, the Club will share videos and articles featuring some of Everton’s disabled fans and highlighting Everton’s commitment to inclusivity and access.
The Everton Disabled Supporters' Association (EDSA) formed in 1994, works alongside the Club to improve the facilities for disabled fans at Goodison Park - ensuring they have a positive matchday experience by providing constant feedback to the Club.
EDSA has also played a vital role in advising the Club on accessibility in the plans for Everton’s proposed new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock – plans which were approved this week by Liverpool City Council. Working alongside the Club, EDSA have helped to ensure the Club’s proposals make the new stadium the most inclusive in the Premier League with the most wheelchair spaces in the country, at least one changing places facility in every stand and a sensory room.
The key objective of Level Playing Field's #WeeksOfAction is to raise awareness of good access and inclusion and how it benefits disabled fans and the wider community.
With the suspension of supporters in stadia earlier this season, this year's #WeeksOfAction theme focuses on 'the importance of live sport' on supporters’ wellbeing and what clubs are doing to support those who are shielding and isolated.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Everton has reaffirmed its commitment to its disabled supporters. As part of the Club’s Blue Family Campaign, staff across Everton in the Community and the Club have been making welfare calls to fans, in particular those who are disabled or who may need support during the pandemic. Everton in the Community has delivered virtual sessions for its Disability Programme participants, and the Club has also helped fans stay in touch with Everton and each other with virtual events including Fan Fridays.
In December 2018, Everton launched All Together Now, its campaign to celebrate diversity and increase awareness of everything done by the Club and Everton in the Community to promote equality.
Since the launch, All Together Now branding and the tagline 'a football family for everyone' has been used across LED perimeter boards, the Jumbotron screens and in concourses at Goodison Park on matchdays, while a number of initiatives and schemes to encourage inclusion and celebrate equality and diversity have been introduced or developed.