More than 26,000 vulnerable families and individuals across Liverpool city region have received help from Everton in the Community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tony McDonough reports
Everton FC’s charitable arm has offered a lifeline to more than 26,000 vulnerable families and individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And Everton in the Community in the vowing to continue to provide support to people from across Merseyside for “as long as they need it”. It launched its Blue Family campaign in March to provide vital aid and assistance to struggling families in the wake of lockdown.
It was particularly focused on those at risk of social isolation and has provide both emergency food parcels and mental health services. The project has been such a huge success and helped people who otherwise would have been left without food on the table.
The support of Blue Family is available to anyone living across the Liverpool city region and, to date, the charity has received more than 3,490 referrals for support and assistance with the number increasing daily.
Since its launch, the campaign has provided more than 225,000 hot meals to schoolchildren and individuals and more than 2,250 families have received support with their utility bills, mobile phone credit and essential household items.
Charity staff, club ambassadors, players and backroom staff from Everton FC have all been involved and have made more than 23,500 check-in and welfare calls to those most in need.
Richard Kenyon, Everton in the Community chief executive, said: “This year has been incredibly challenging for our local communities, with many families facing life on the breadline for the first time, while others have struggled with their mental health and feelings of isolation.
“Blue Family was set up to give direct help to those who need it most – whether that is food being delivered to their door, help with paying essential bills or simply a voice on the other end of the phone.
“Our team, together with players at the club, have been working tirelessly to reach out to local people in their time of need and we’re proud to have made such a positive difference to so many lives in a short space of time.
“But, it doesn’t stop there. As we approach the run up to Christmas – a time when feelings of loneliness and financial anxiety dramatically increase – it’s essential that our work continues and we are committed to providing support and assistance for as long as there is a need in our community.”
Funding for the programme kick-started with a £50,000 donation from Everton FC, while donations also flooded in from season ticket holders, hospitality lounge members, local partners, club owner Farhad Moshiri and Chairman Bill Kenwright.
Everton in the Community also recently received £1.5million from the Steve Morgan Foundation and the Government’s Community Match Challenge initiative to further support the charity’s essential work.