Secondary school pupils get healthy with Everton football stars
Secondary school pupils on the Premiere League (PL) Inspires programme were recently joined by footballers 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.
This was during Everton in the Community’s (EitC) ‘Showcase’ at Finch Farm, which gives 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.
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.
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.
Footballlers 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.
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.”
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.”
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.