The charitable arm of Everton FC, Everton in the Community, provided support to more than 45,000 individuals and families in Merseyside in 2020 thanks to record revenues. Tony McDonough reports
Everton Football Club’s charitable arm, Everton in the Community (EITC), is reporting its best-ever year with revenues of £5.8m for the 2019/20 financial year.
This is the highest level of income in the charity’s 33-year history and 20% up on the previous year. It meant it was able to help even more people across Merseyside during what was an exceptionally challenging year in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
EITC operates more than 40 programmes, reaching out to the most vulnerable members of the Liverpool city region community in areas such as mental health, education, homelessness, unemployment, poverty and disability. Last year it provided support to more than 45,000 individuals and families.
Its existing programmes – delivered to more than 15,000 people annually – have moved to virtual delivery 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, EITC and the club started providing much-needed 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 to more than 28,000 individuals and families – with help continuing to be provided right across the city region.
Richard Kenyon, chief executive at EITC, 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.
“From welfare calls to fans from players, Carlo Ancelotti, the club chief executive, and chairman, to putting food on people’s tables, there’s been some amazing and very important work happening – not least by the EITC 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 partnership with Steve Morgan Foundation.
EITC 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.
Part of the charity’s post-COVID response will be The People’s Place, a purpose-built mental health facility close to Goodison Park, which received planning permission in spring 2020.
EITC will take the lead role in the delivery of the club’s legacy project for the area around its current Goodison Park home. Subject to approval at a council planning meeting this week, Everton will build a new stadium in Liverpool’s northern docklands.