PLAYERS from Everton Football Club have been out and about in the community over the last week to visit Everton in the Community programmes as the Club’s official charity celebrates its 35th anniversary.
Players from Everton’s Men’s, Under-21s’ and Women’s squads and Everton Ambassador Graham Stuart spent time with participants at EitC sessions across Liverpool to find out more about the charity’s impact across the city as well as meeting participants who benefit from its ground-breaking work.
First-team captain Seamus Coleman was joined by summer signing Amadou Onana as they spent time with young people from Everton in the Community’s 41 Goodison programme at Finch Farm, taking part in a series of team-building games and challenges designed to improve communication and social skills.
The first team duo spoke with participants about the programme and their own personal journeys before joining them in tasks such as word relay races, card puzzles, replica stadium builds and other teamwork activities.
41 Goodison is an intervention programme that works with males and females aged 8-19 to develop confidence, self-esteem and raise aspirations whilst providing pathways into education, training and employment.
Working with some of the city’s most high-risk young people to provide them with opportunities to make significant and lasting life changes, 41 Goodison delivers one-to-one support sessions and targeted interventions to help participants improve their health and wellbeing, gain new skills and qualifications and enjoy new experiences.
Speaking after the session, Blues captain Coleman said:
“I’ve been privileged to spend a lot of time at Everton in the Community sessions during my time with my Club and I always look forward to them as well as taking a lot away from them and today was no different.
“Amadou and I had a great time playing the games with young people and helping them develop their skills around teamwork and communication which are important attributes for everyone to use throughout life. 35 years of our amazing charity is a great achievement and I’m so proud of the difference it makes each and every day.”
Meanwhile, Everton Women trio Courtney Brosnan, Katja Snoeijs and Elise Stenevik visited The People’s Hub for its weekly ‘Sit and Knit’ programme – an Everton in the Community social group for older residents in the Blue Mile around Goodison Park – where they tried their hand at knitting and spent time chatting to the group about their experiences and how the programme has helped them to reduce feelings of social isolation.
Launched in 2017, Sit and Knit began as a class for people to learn how to crochet but has since developed into a social group where participants knit together, take part in arts and crafts and have a chat over a cup of tea. The group also regularly donate items knitted during the sessions to Liverpool Women’s Hospital for their Little Woollens Shop.
Courtney Brosnan said:
“Everton in the Community is absolutely amazing – I’ve had the chance to do a few different things with them now and just to see the reach and the different types of things that they do is amazing.
“It covers such a broad spectrum, and you can see the impact that it has on the community – it really doesn’t go unnoticed by the people here today, so I think it’s really something special.”
Everton Under-21s team are staunch supporters of Everton in the Community and four of their players joined charity staff and Everton Free School pupils to take part in a collaborative social action programme with Premier League Primary Stars; a Forest School for local primary school children as part of the charity’s commitment to social action in its region.
The quartet of players, Mackenzie Hunt, Joseph Anderson, Mathew Mallon, and Jack Barrett headed to Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School in Bootle to officially open a new outdoor education habitat for the pupils.
The players have worked alongside Holy Spirit pupils and students from Everton Free School for a number of weeks, taking part in gardening and restoration activities to help clear the space and make the environment safe for the pupils to use, explore and learn in.
The newly erected Forest School at Holy Spirit is one of four currently being worked on by Everton in the Community at various partner primary schools across Liverpool. The project aims to provide safe outdoor spaces for children to take part in education outside of the classroom and in a natural environment – allowing them to enjoy new experiences and learn additional skills whilst supporting the development of a lifelong relationship with nature. The project is funded by the Steve Rotheram Community Environment Fund.
And Club Ambassador Graham Stuart wrapped up the series of birthday visits when he visited Redbridge High School to witness the inspiring work of Everton in the Community’s disability team.
Stuart joined students with Profound and Multiple Learning Disability (PMLD) in an exciting PE lesson led by Everton in the Community staff, taking part in a variety of games that promote physical development and communication between students and staff.
41 Goodison, Sit and Knit, social action and the disability programme are just four of 50+ projects delivered by Everton in the Community throughout the local area, where the charity has been a constant presence for 35 years – supporting those most in need in Liverpool and beyond since 1988.
Everton in the Community has been at the forefront of social intervention for 35 years, tackling issues which are prevalent across the city. The charity’s programmes are specifically designed and developed to combat these issues including mental health, employability, dementia, education, disability, poverty and homelessness.
The charity supports people of all ages, genders, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds from more than 140 venues across the city region. From delivering the Premier League Primary Stars programme to school children to supporting the elderly members of the Liverpool community who are suffering from social isolation, Everton in the Community is open and inclusive to all.
Thanks to the breadth and impact of its programme offering, Everton in the Community generated more than £64million for the local area during 2021/22 – meaning that the charity generated £29.86 for every £1 invested through its ground-breaking work during this time.
Societal value is the calculation of benefits created by an organisation as part of its everyday output. The figures are based on an accepted national formula and not only take into account the value for money created by Everton in the Community, but also the wider benefit to society through the direct impact on people’s lives, the economy and the environment.
For more information on Everton in the Community and its range of programmes, please visit: Everton in the Community.