£5.8m revenues help football club’s charity reach out to 45,000 people in need

Richard Kenyon

Everton FC’s charitable arm has helped more than 45,000 people and families after achieving record £5.8m revenues during 2019-20.

Everton in the Community posted its highest financial figure in its 33-year history, more than 20% up on the same period last year and double that of five years ago.

The charity has continued to deliver more than 40 programmes which focus on a wide range of social issues across Merseyside such as mental health, education, homelessness, unemployment, poverty and disability, despite the challenges created by COVID-19.

The existing programmes have moved to virtual delivery during the pandemic and the charity has also been successful in securing more programmes to help more people once the pandemic ends.

Since last March and the start of the pandemic, Everton in the Community and the club started providing assistance to struggling families in the wake of lockdown restrictions and increased social isolation.

Under the banner of ‘Blue Family’, support has been provided in the form of food parcels, assistance with utility bills, physical and mental health wellbeing support, the purchase of laptops and other educational resources for more than 28,000 individuals and families – with help continuing to be provided right across the city region.

Richard Kenyon, Everton in the Community chief executive, said: “We set ourselves an ambitious growth strategy three years ago and it is pleasing that we have been able to stay on track with this, despite such challenging circumstances.

“Through the incredible support of our funders, partners, the football club and our fans, we have been able to maintain all of our programmes, many of which support very vulnerable people.

“We’ve also been able to establish brand new programmes, meaning we can help even more people in the future and drive forward part of our post-pandemic recovery plan.”

He added: “From welfare calls to fans from players, Carlo Ancelotti (first team manager), the club CEO, and chairman, to putting food on people’s tables, there’s been some amazing and very important work happening – not least by the Everton in the Community staff who are working tirelessly every day to maintain contact and provide support to those who need it.”

The charity’s growth during 2019/20 has been possible thanks to ongoing support from existing partners including Merseyside Police and the Premier League as well as a new innovative partnership with the Steve Morgan Foundation.

Everton in the Community has also secured new funding from The Growth Company, Children in Need, Big Lottery Fund and Howard’s Way investor Phil Brown, which will see the charity increase its impact on people’s lives – particularly through the promotion of positive mental health – in the years ahead.

Generous donations from Everton supporters, together with the club’s owner and chairman, have also boosted Blue Family resources and enabled the club and community to provide a lifeline to tens of thousands of people in their time of need.

Looking forward, part of the charity’s post-COVID response will be The People’s Place, a purpose-built mental health facility close to the Goodison Park stadium, which received planning permission in spring 2020.

The Spellow Lane-based scheme, which was praised by the Duke of Cambridge during a site visit last year, will provide tailored support to promote positive mental health and deliver vital services relating to suicide awareness and prevention.

Kenyon added: “Our success is a true testament to the hard work and talent of my dedicated colleagues, not just in the last 12-months but over many years.

“The impact of the coronavirus is going to be with us for a long time, but we’ve got plans in place to make sure we play a key role in the recovery across the Liverpool City Region.”

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