In light of mental health awareness week, evertonfc.com is shining the spotlight on Everton in the Community’s mental health programme, Imagine Your Goals, and how main partner Cazoo is now supporting the initiative which has been running for 14 years.
Everton manager, Frank Lampard and a number of First-Team players experienced the first-hand impact of Everton in the Community’s Imagine Your Goals mental health programme, which is part-funded by main partner Cazoo.
Lampard joined Jarrad Branthwaite, Tom Davies, Jonjoe Kenny and Seamus Coleman at Finch Farm to take part in the session, where participants and players came together to share personal stories of overcoming mental challenges using football as an example and a therapeutic tool.
As well as promoting positive mental health among participants, the day also celebrated Cazoo’s Goals for Good campaign which over the course of this season and last, has pledged to donate £1,000 for every goal Everton score in the Premier League to Everton in the Community.
As well as funding Imagine Your Goals, money raised from the initiative is also channelled towards the charity’s Girls on Side programme which supports females in overcoming similar issues with their mental health.
Lampard spoke with the Imagine Your Goals team to express the importance of prioritising mental health and how football can be used as a metaphor for the challenges that we may face throughout life.
“It’s a huge priority for us all individually to try to manage our mental health as well as we can” said Lampard. “It’s a huge thing now in society, and it’s a good thing that we are more aware of the importance of mental health.
“What I always take away from things like this is to communicate, keep talking to each other and to understand that life will give you challenges in many ways and the fact we can support and communicate with each other is a huge thing.”
Imagine Your Goals is one of Everton in the Community’s longest standing programmes having been established in 2008. It saw Everton become the first Premier League Club to address mental health with a purpose-built programme and uses the game of football as a form of therapy to support its participants.
Denise, who has been part of Imagine you Goals for six years, explained how the programme has helped support her through her mental health journey. “Playing football and having that routine is great as well as having the support from everybody; It’s like a little family we have going on. I have suffered from anxiety, depression and been in and out of hospital but this has really helped me.”
Johnnie Garside, EitC’s Health and Wellbeing Manager, added: “We are sincerely grateful to Cazoo for their Goals for Good campaign which has helped support Imagine your Goals financially throughout the course of this season.
“This has had a huge impact on helping to support thousands of adult males and females across Liverpool experiencing poor mental health. It’s helped them to engage with the programme, engage with likeminded people, to build their resilience, confidence, self-esteem and improve their overall quality of life.”