Alex Iwobi savoured an “amazing” and belated opportunity to witness Everton in the Community’s “life-changing” work on a visit to the charity’s 41 Goodison project this week.
Everton forward Iwobi, an increasingly talismanic figure for manager Frank Lampard, joined in a series of music activities designed to grow the confidence and aspirations of young participants.
Iwobi’s original intention to consistently engage with Everton in the Community (EitC) following a summer 2019 transfer from Arsenal was scuppered by the coronavirus pandemic.
But, in line with steadily-easing rules over social mixing, the Club is progressively reintroducing player visits to the transformative programmes of its official charity.
“For me to see first-hand the work of EitC and how they are changing people’s lives was amazing,” said Iwobi.
“I’ve heard so much about the charity and wanted to get involved and learn more about the participants and people who work for the charity.
“I didn’t know what to expect and it was brilliant seeing what it does for young people: 41 Goodison is an exciting place to be – it provides so much fun and enjoyment... all with the purpose of teaching participants life skills and improving their futures.”
The 41 Goodison project is divided into three programmes, each with the overarching aim of “offering males and females, aged eight to 19-years-old from Merseyside, the opportunity to make significant and lasting life changes”.
Iwobi attended a music group that fell under the umbrella of personal and social development sessions, which offer support in achieving positive outcomes for young people.
The player confessed his guitar playing and efforts on the DJ decks “need working on”.
He had a whale of a time, nonetheless, and intends to monitor the progress of his classmates for the day.
“The pandemic stopped our direct involvement with EitC but we want to help and participate whenever we can, it is great fun,” said Iwobi.
“I spoke to the young people about what music does for me, I am always listening to music in my car or at home or before games and it is a big part of my life.
“They shared how music effects them and how it engages with their moods.
“It was a good vibe and they were great people. I had to play guitar, it took 15 minutes to teach me how to hold it properly, and I had a go on the DJ decks. I definitely wasn’t the greatest but it was a lot of fun.
“This project at 41 Goodison provides great opportunities and I will do whatever I can to help.
“It brought home to me that Everton is not just a football club, it changes lives.”