Everton and its official charity Everton in the Community have today launched ‘Blue Family’, a coordinated outreach and engagement campaign to maintain contact with fans and provide vital support and assistance to some of the most vulnerable, socially isolated and at-risk members of the community in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The ‘Blue Family’ campaign will maintain and extend the reach of the Club and the charity following the closure of all Club sites, the suspension of football fixtures and the postponement of most community programme delivery.
The Club will be providing £50,000 to fund the launch and initial activities and will be reallocating Club and Community staff to ensure the effective delivery of the campaign.
Evertonians across the world are together during this difficult time – and that’s why the Club has launched its Blue Family campaign to bring our amazing fanbase and community together – and to help the most needy and vulnerable members of society. The initial outreach activity includes Fans and members of the community in greatest need contacted by Everton in the Community staff to deliver tailored and focused support, assistance and guidance, including Essential food parcels distribution, including breakfast packs for young children Financial assistance for prescription purchases and delivery Mobile phone credit for those living alone and with limited support networks Support with gas and/or electricity vouchers for those facing increased fuel bills Mental health support and advice.
A referral service for access to Everton in the Community’s support provision Calls from the Everton Fan Centre to thousands of fans to maintain contact and provide a friendly voice to talk to, prioritising the elderly and isolated Increased communication through the Club’s email, social media and web platforms to share important public information and deliver engaging content for those in isolation Exercise and mindfulness videos provided by trained staff from the Club and Everton in the Community Everton CEO, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, said:
“Society is facing an unprecedented challenge. Everton has never shied away from its responsibility as a Club at the heart of the community. As we face up to a new reality brought by the coronavirus pandemic, we are embracing that responsibility more than ever. We are determined to do everything we can to provide assistance and support to our fans and the wider community, with particular focus on those at greatest risk.”
‘Blue Family’ has also seen the Club and charity introduce a referral form enabling fans and the wider public to refer people they believe may need a friendly voice to speak to at this difficult time. In addition to a phone call, Everton in the Community staff may also be able to assist those vulnerable and in isolation within the Liverpool area with food deliveries, prescription drop-offs and other support services.
Since temporarily suspending delivery of most of its sessions last week, Everton in the Community has introduced a number of special measures including regular calls and messages to members of the community and arranging access to emergency food and care parcels where needed.
The charity’s Neighbourhood team has continued to work to support more than 10,000 residents living within the immediate vicinity of Goodison Park and is running a phone/text/email service for any local resident requiring advice or support relating to matters such as housing, benefits and general wellbeing.
Its Youth Engagement team is maintaining contact with the young people on programmes and is providing a range of additional support to those who need it the most.
Everton in the Community CEO, Richard Kenyon, said:
“We are fully committed to doing everything we can to maintain and extend our presence in the community during this very challenging period.”
“We have incredible support from Club Chairman Bill Kenwright and CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale and a talented team of staff and volunteers at the charity who, despite having to work in a different way, are absolutely determined to continue to reach out to our community and provide the best possible support we can to as many people as possible.”
People can show their backing for the ‘Blue Family’ campaign by donating online here, with every penny raised going to support the community.
A percentage of those funds raised for the ‘Blue Family’ campaign will be allocated to Fans Supporting Foodbanks to assist its operation in packaging and distributing food packages to those in need across the city.