Everton in the Community has received £1.5million from Steve Morgan Foundation and the government’s Community Match Challenge initiative to further support the charity’s essential work in supporting the city’s most vulnerable people during – and post – Covid-19.

Introduced in July 2020 by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), the Community Match Challenge invited philanthropists, foundations and grant making organisations to put forward new funding applications with a generous offer to match funds raised on a pound-for-pound basis from a £750m support package for charities with the overall aim of supporting those who are most vulnerable and have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

Steve Morgan Foundation is participating in the Community Match Challenge initiative, and has awarded match-funding of £1.5m to Everton in the Community after learning how the charity plans to increase its essential services to vulnerable people through enhanced community support, with a specific spotlight on mental health and education.

The Club’s official charity has recently partnered with the Foundation to collaboratively deliver an early intervention programme in South Liverpool to tackle the barriers facing young people in attaining a good education and this new Covid-19 focused match-funding will see Everton in the Community able to work closely with its Official Partner to further deliver intense programmes of support over the course of the next six months to positively impact thousands of lives of people who have been directly affected by the pandemic.

Monitored and evaluated by Edge Hill University, the funding will enable Everton in the Community to further develop its life-changing and life-saving interventions to those engaged through its work – as well as those facing new and increased challenges due to the impact of coronavirus. The funding allows the charity to tackle the worsening education inequality gap for young people across Liverpool City Region – which has further widened as a result of the pandemic – and will work to inspire and motivate young people to achieve attainment levels to access meaningful employment and wealth creation opportunities.

 

HOW EVERTON’S MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMME HAS SAVED LIVES

Blues skipper Seamus Coleman attends Imagine Your Goals event.

It will also allow the charity to build on its award-winning mental health provision and introduce an accreditation framework to ensure people in need are accessing support that is safe and effective. The need for safe and effective mental health support has never been more essential, with evidence stating that the direct and indirect impacts of Covid-19 have increased the risk of suicide, which has tragically already been reflected in data from across Merseyside showing a 30.5% increase in suicides from March-August 2020 in comparison to the same months in 2019.

This enhanced and focused mental health work will accelerate Everton in the Community’s ambition to address the significant and increasing mental health needs within the local community and avert a profound and prolonged mental health crisis, as well as complementing the charity’s plans to build and deliver a purpose-built mental health facility – The People’s Place – in the heart of Liverpool 4.

The need for a dedicated facility is greater than ever before as the pandemic has amplified many of the associated risk factors for poor mental health and suicide such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress and, with thanks to this new funding, the Club’s charitable arm is able to move a step closer to construction and hope to begin work on the Spellow Lane site in early 2021.

Everton in the Community Chief Executive Officer Richard Kenyon said, “This funding will enable us to tackle some of the social inequalities in our city head-on and allow us to help more people in need. Thanks to Steve Morgan Foundation and the government’s Community Match Challenge initiative, Everton in the Community can have an even greater positive impact on the lives of thousands of people across Liverpool City Region.

“The funding will also move us closer to bringing our much-needed mental health facility, The People’s Place, to Liverpool 4 and we are more committed than ever to providing first-class support relating to suicide prevention and positive mental health. Together with Steve Morgan Foundation we are committed to addressing the inevitable increase of mental-health related issues as a result of the pandemic.”

Steve Morgan, Founder and Chairman of Steve Morgan Foundation, said, “My trustees and I have seen first-hand the wide-ranging grassroots support that Everton in the Community delivers across Liverpool City Region and are proud to be working with this charity with which we have so many aims in common. Covid-19 has made a deep impact on communities which were already experiencing significant disadvantage and proactive, professionally delivered targeted support is needed now more than ever. Thanks to the match-funding opportunity offered by Community Match Challenge and DCMS we are able to double the support for this vital work and, most importantly, help Everton in the Community realise their ambition of The People’s Place mental health facility.”

Minister for Civil Society, Baroness Barran, said: “The commendable work of Everton in the Community to address social inequalities in Liverpool and to help those struggling with their mental health has never been more important.

“I am delighted that through the Community Match Challenge, part of our £750million support package for charities, we can partner with generous individuals like Steve Morgan and his foundation to look out for our communities.”

Founded in 1988, Everton in the Community delivers more than 40 programmes a year, specifically designed and developed to tackle social challenges that are prevalent across Merseyside, including mental health, employability, dementia, education, disability, poverty and homelessness.

The charity’s programmes support people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds from over 130 venues across the city region. From delivering the Premier League Primary Stars programme to school children to supporting the elderly members of the Liverpool community who are suffering from social isolation, Everton in the Community is open and inclusive to all.

The Steve Morgan Foundation was created in 2001 by Steve Morgan CBE and since then it has designated over £300million for charitable funding. The Foundation is committed to changing lives by funding projects that support people coping with disability, domestic violence, mental health problems, poverty and tackling social isolation. It also supports projects that improve the life chances of young people from cradle to career and adults who need help to get into work.

Born in Liverpool, Steve Morgan, 67, is the founder of Redrow plc and Chairman of the Bridgemere Group of Companies – which has significant land and commercial development interests – and Carden Park Hotel.