Author: Prof. Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Everton Football Club
Our wonderful charity, Everton in the Community, has recently celebrated its 30th anniversary – an achievement of which all of us associated with EitC are extremely proud of. Thirty years of supporting those most in need across the city of Liverpool and further beyond.
Everton in the Community had humble origins. Founded in 1988 and based in a converted house in the shadows of Goodison Park, the charity aimed to provide sporting opportunities in the local area, but we were always determined to make a bigger impact and do all we can to help change lives and, in some circumstances, save lives.
We work 365 days a day in helping to combat a diverse range of social issues that are prevalent on the streets of Liverpool and Merseyside. Our award-winning practitioners support the most vulnerable and underprivileged members of our local communities with over 40 programmes focusing on employability, education, disability, youth justice, mental health and poverty to name but a view.
We work to address a number of social themes on a daily basis including youth engagement, social inclusion, youth justice and education.
Our commitment to education is extensive and longstanding. From our Alternative Provision curriculum offering at Everton Free School to our apprenticeship and employability programmes, we provide the opportunity for young people to discover, explore and reach their potential in a secure, supportive and stimulating environment whilst our Youth Engagement programmes harness the energy, enthusiasm and commitment of a wide range of young people, empowering them to effect positive social change.
We reach into some of the most challenging and hard-to-reach groups across Merseyside, operating across the entire spectrum and helping to support young people in the youth justice system or at risk of entering the care system as well as focusing on crime prevention in areas of high anti-social behavior and crime.
The need for our support in the city has never been so great. We must never forget that there are some harsh conditions that people live in and some serious social needs within the city and it is our job to help reach and support the most vulnerable members of our society.
The most wonderful aspect of Everton in the Community is the people that deliver our services each day. They are the most fantastic people you will have the privilege of meeting, they are committed to the participants who turn to the football club in times of need.
Celebrating 30 years of Everton in the Community is a fantastic opportunity for us. We have just been given the Freedom of the City of Liverpool in recognition of the longevity of our work so it is a terrific time for celebration. However, as you would expect from Everton in the Community staff, we want to treasure our past and are very committed to what we are delivering now in the present, but we also want to make sure there is a sustainability plan and we are looking forward to a very successful future.
We want to continue to be the best we can be, we have the Nil Satis motto and we live up to that every single day in Everton in the Community.