Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

Stars visit Everton in the Community’s L4 Campus ahead of its 36th birthday

A quartet of Everton players from across the men’s and women’s teams visited Everton in the Community programmes this week to discover how the charity is helping those most in need through its lifechanging work ahead of its upcoming 36th birthday.

Blues first team duo, Ben Godfrey and Lewis Dobbin swapped their football boots for boxing gloves when they attended an Everton in the Community Kicks boxing session alongside a group of participants from one of the charity’s many youth support programmes set up to support youngsters in positive activities and steering them away from possible negative influences.

After being introduced to the group, keen boxing enthusiast Godfrey and Academy Graduate Dobbin wasted no time in throwing themselves into the session and lacing up their gloves to take part in some one-on-one pad work exercises with the young males before switching roles for the participants to practice their punches and jabs on them.

As the session drew to a close, the duo took part in an impromptu Q&A session and were quizzed on a wide variety of topics including hobbies away from football, the toughest player they’ve ever played against and what time they go to bed!

Toffees defender, Ben Godfrey said:

“I remember being a similar age to the young people that we were with today and for them to relate to us, knowing that we were once on a similar path to them is really inspiring for them and it’s nice for us to see so many of the kids with a smile on their faces.

“Nowadays it’s easy for young people to be misled down the wrong paths, so it’s really important that they have access to outlets like Everton in the Community and the sessions that they provide, teaching them valuable life skills to stand them in good stead later in life – it’s massively beneficial for them, and an honour for us to come along, meet them all and take part.”

Everton in the Community’s youth support programmes use the power of sport to support young people in school and community setting and combine football and sport sessions with workshops on topics such as healthy eating lifestyles and employability as well as educating them on the dangers of gang violence, drugs and alcohol.

Earlier in the week, Everton Women’s first team pair Courtney Brosnan and Aurora Galli attended an Everton in the Community ‘Starting Well’ session to discover how the charity is supporting local families across Liverpool 4 and beyond.

During the session, the Toffees pair engaged in a series of interactive activities with the local families in attendance – from building train tracks to crafting cards with the youngsters – before chatting with parents and guardians about their experiences on the programme to date; witnessing first-hand the positive impact it has had on theirs and their infants’ lives.

Reflecting on the visit, Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Brosnan said:

“It’s been great to get involved with the ‘Starting Well’ programme today and spend some time with local families, it’s incredibly important that they have access to amazing outlets like these sessions – where they can all come together and enjoy each other’s company.”

Funded by PSS, ‘Starting Well’ supports parents and guardians across Liverpool City Region to build strong and healthy relationships with their children by giving them access to a wide range of activities and classes specifically designed to promote the importance of bonding and attachment.

Both ‘Starting Well’ and Kicks are two of over 60+ programmes and initiatives delivered by Everton in the Community which tackle of variety of social issues including employability, education, mental health, homelessness, poverty and disability.

Everton in the Community will celebrate its 36th birthday at Monday’s home game against Crystal Palace and the Club’s official charity is calling on Evertonians to mark the occasion by supporting them in their fundraising efforts and ‘Be Sound, Bring a Pound’.

EitC staff and volunteers will be out in full force ahead of kick-off, armed with buckets and asking fans to spare £1 on the night, with monies raised channelled towards developing the charity’s life-changing work in Liverpool 4 and beyond.

As part of its 36th birthday celebrations, Everton in the Community’s CEO, Sue Gregory has also taken stock and reflected on the charity’s key highlights during the past 12 months.

Sue said:

“We’ve been embedded into the community for 36 years and I’ve been involved with the charity for around 12 years now. During that time, I’ve seen Everton in the Community grow exponentially – we’ve expanded from around 20 staff to over 120 and invested £13 million into our L4 campus, so it’s an appropriate time for us to take stock, reflect and consider our growth going forwards.

“In the last year alone, we’ve opened our mental health and wellbeing facility – The People’s Place; the first-of-its-kind facility attached to a football club. We’ve also launched a brand-new strategy last Autumn; The Trinity Project which will see us pave the way for a brighter future for thousands of residents across the City Region. We’ve expanded our 60+ programmes too, including the region’s first female-focused project specifically designed to support women from the military with the transition back to civilian life.

“Looking ahead, we’ve also secured multi-million-pound funding from the Steve Morgan Foundation to deliver early intervention programmes in North Liverpool and South Sefton to tackle areas of social deprivation and inequalities which will enable us to expand on our life-changing delivery.”

Established in 1988, Everton in the Community has been providing a lifeline to those most in need across Liverpool City Region for more than three decades through its innovative and impactful delivery. To support the sustainability of the charity’s mission to build brighter futures and stronger communities across Liverpool City Region, please visit: https://www.evertoninthecommunity.org/support-us.

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