The Everton in the Community Showcase returned to Finch Farm this week with first team manager Sean Dyche and his squad spending the afternoon finding out more about the inspirational work of the Club’s official charity.
Now in its fifth year, the Everton in the Community Showcase gives the players the opportunity to get hands on with some of the charity’s flagship programmes as well as meeting the participants who benefit from its life-changing work.
And before the fun and activities got underway, the manager and the first team squad joined EitC CEO Sue Gregory in signing a commitment pledge, giving their ongoing support to the work of the charity.
This year’s Showcase saw the charity highlight two programmes from each of its recently launched pillars; EitC Learns, EitC Minds and EitC Thrives. These three new pillars form the Trinity Project, Everton in the Community’s ambitious five-year plan to create lasting impact and bring positive change to the communities it serves.
The new EitC Learns pillar will see the charity provide a diverse range of programmes to ensure that every individual has the chance to learn and grow and the two programmes on display at Finch Farm during the Showcase were Premier League Primary Stars and PL Inspires.
Players including Idrissa Gueye, Dwight McNeil and Andre Gomes joined staff and children from the charity’s Premier League Primary Stars programme and wasted no time in getting stuck into a Commando Joe’s activity with them which included a variety of different challenges and obstacles to help build character, self-worth and confidence in young children.
Meanwhile, secondary school pupils on the PL Inspires programme were joined by Arnaut Danjuma, Jarrad Branthwaite, Andy Lonergan and others as they took part in a healthy eating workshop, morning shake-up exercises and a quiz around the important of a healthy diet, lifestyle and exercise.
The EitC Minds pillar will work to enhance community wellbeing through top-tier mental health services and provides accessible support to individuals living with dementia and players had the opportunity to find out more about this work through the charity’s Stand Together and Everton Cares programmes.
First team stars James Tarkowski, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Joao Virginia and Youssef Chermiti put their dance moves to the test when they joined older participants from Everton in the Community’s Stand Together programme in a lindy hop swing class. Funded by the Premier League, Stand Together is a twice-weekly programme for anyone aged 65+ who might be struggling with loneliness or social isolation.
Ashley Young, Nathan Patterson and Lewis Dobbin found out more about Everton Cares and took part in a variety of chair-based and low-impact exercises with individuals on the 12-week education, social inclusion and physical activity programme who struggle with long term health conditions.
And lastly, the recently launched EitC Thrives pillar will work to empower individuals to reach their full potential through increased confidence, targeted assistance and skill-building initiatives.
Toffees quartet Jordan Pickford, Amadou Onana, Dele and Abdoulaye Doucoure joined a group of children with physical and learning disabilities and took part in some multi-sports activities with them and EitC Disability staff included seated volleyball and archery and a group of players including Beto, Ben Godfrey and James Garner took part in an energetic game of Kin-ball with young adults from the charity’s 41 Goodison and PL Kicks programme which use the power of sport to support ‘hard to reach’ young people in school and community settings.
Reflecting on a busy EitC Showcase, charity CEO Sue Gregory said:
“It has been fantastic to bring this event back to Finch Farm and give the manager and first-team players the opportunity to witness our work first hand and get stuck in alongside our staff and participants! The afternoon has been full of smiles and laughter and everyone has had a great time.
“On behalf of everyone at Everton in the Community, I’d like to thank the manager and the players for giving up their time so generously – the impact they have had on our participants lives today is immense and they have helped create memories that will last a lifetime.”
Summer signing Ashley Young said:
“As players it is important to us to give back to the community and play an active role in supporting the work of the Club’s official charity. This was my first-time taking part in activities with Everton in the Community and I’ve been blown away by what I’ve seen and the scale of what the charity does and who it supports.”
Idrissa Gana Gueye added:
“Everton in the Community means a lot to us as players – I’ve spent time visiting a number of different programmes over the last few years and I always leave with a smile on my face. The charity tackles a lot of important issues across the area but it is done in a way so people feel comfortable talking about their problems and accessing support.”
Since 1988, Everton in the Community has become a dynamic force for good, harnessing the unifying power of football to drive social change and addressing societal challenges across Liverpool City Region.
Supported by a team of over 130 full-time staff and over 200 volunteers, the independently governed and independently financed charity offers an extensive array of more than 60 programmes and initiatives that tackle a diverse range of social issues. These programmes cover areas such as health, employability, anti-social behaviour, crime, exploitation, education, dementia, and disability.
Everton in the Community stands firmly beside the most at-risk and most in need members of its local communities and the introduction of its five-year Trinity Project strategic plan will see the charity tackle the ever-growing and ever-evolving needs of the city, working to bring transformational change to Liverpool 4 and beyond.
To find out more about Everton in the Community and the Trinity Project visit https://www.evertoninthecommunity.org/trinity-project/