COMMUNITY NEWS

Everton Stars Mark Safer Internet Day

Everton Women’s senior team stars Lucy Hope and Annie Wilding were left enlightened by local school children following a visit to Holy Trinity Primary School in Garston for Safer Internet Day.

Both Hope and Wilding were invited by Everton in the Community, Everton’s official charity to learn more about promoting safer and more responsible use of online technology as part of Safer Internet Day, an annual celebration which encourages people from all corners of the world to come together for a better internet.

Joining the Everton pair were pupils whose ages varied from seven to 11-years, and they spoke to both players about growing up with technology, their experiences of the internet, and how to build a better experience for everybody online.

In turn, both Hope and Wilding gave the room an insight into how they would deal with online abuse and their thoughts on championing the internet to be a more positive space.

Stressing the importance of the event’s message, Hope said: “Hearing from the children themselves, it really opened our eyes to the role the internet plays in these kids’ lives, which only highlights how important it is that they know how to use online technology safely and correctly.

“Footballers of today, male and female have a higher profile which has its rewards. But unfortunately, it also comes with negatives such as online abuse. I’ve never experienced it myself, but you don’t have to look far to see other footballers subjected to this on their own profiles – and that’s not right.”

The event reflected on pupils’ own usage of social media, it promoted how to use it effectively and reiterated the consequences of using the internet to spread negativity and hate.

The session was delivered by Everton in the Community’s Premier League Primary Stars team which works in primary schools across the region to inspire children to learn, be active and develop important life skills.

Its work in Speke/Garston is made possible by the Steve Morgan Foundation whose funding enables Everton in the Community to deliver early intervention programmes in L4 and South Sefton.

Safer Internet Day is acknowledged by Everton in the Community every year with the charity committed to raising awareness on the responsible use of technology. As well as Hope and Wilding’s school visit, the charity’s partner schools were also invited to Goodison to take part in workshops delivered by UK Safer Internet Centre.

Premier League Primary Stars programme manager, Elena Barton added: “A key function of our Primary Stars delivery is promoting key messages to young people, to not only improve their aspirations, but to build better communities and brighter futures for our region.

“The role the internet plays in everyday society continues to be significant and that can sometimes be overwhelming for young people. We need to make sure children who are growing up with technology are not only educated on using the internet responsibly, but to also support their own wellbeing when accessing the internet.”

To find out more about Everton in the Community, click here