Denise and ‘Snods’ were joined at the Centre by up-and-coming Club prospects Luke Garbutt and Conor McAleny as they brought its silver jubilee year to a close by recognising the work of other like-minded organisations who are working throughout the City to tackle the same issues that Everton in the Community first set out to conquer 26 years ago and still continue to do so.
During their time at the UK’s first eco-friendly homelessness hostel, the Everton quartet got involved with an activity session with the children who use Belvidere, helping them with all manner of arts and crafts as well as assisting them with their reading and writing before being enjoying a tour of the impressive facilities offered by the establishment. The group also delivered food and clothing items that were donated by supporters ahead of the Aston Villa match which saw Everton in the Community reveal it had reached a £1 million fundraising target during half-time.
After visiting the Toxteth provision, Denise said: “It has been so rewarding to visit this wonderful centre today and find out more about the fantastic work that they do in our community. The children that we spent time with were so friendly and made us feel very welcome and I personally feel like I am taking a lot away with me and look forward to developing a relationship with Belvidere Family Centre moving forwards.”
The Belvidere Family Centre, which provides high quality housing support with 16 self-contained family units, is owned and maintained by Liverpool Mutual Homes and managed by the Whitechapel Centre and Sustainable Housing Action Partnership (SHAP) on behalf of Liverpool City Council.
All residents are referred via the council’s 24-hour housing options service; with individuals or families losing their homes due to financial difficulty or due to relationship/family breakdown, while others flee domestic violence or are refugees that have been given lease to remain by the Home Office.
Providing a wide range of support to families to help them sustain family life and access education, health and other services, Belvidere supports a proportion of families after they move on, helping them to settle-in through a Resettlement service provided by the Whitechapel Centre.
The organisation has been operating for 18 months and has helped 119 families with its services and 82 per cent of those households move on to permanent accommodation with 17 per cent moving on to stay with family or friends or returning to their previous home.
With the proceeds raised by Everton in the Community during their 25th anniversary it will be able to continue to improve the lives of more people across Merseyside and the North West. To reach the £1million total, the Club’s official charity undertook a high-profile fundraising campaign during its 25th year celebrations working with Everton Football Club, its partners and, of course, the Goodison faithful.
Established in 1988, the Club’s official charity has grown to be one of the most well-respected and pioneering sporting charities in the UK. Through its 91 dedicated full-time staff, 61 casual staff and 188 volunteers, the organisation rolls out 45 programmes covering a range of social issues including health, employability, anti-social behaviour, crime, education, dementia, poverty, youth engagement, youth justice and disability. It supports the most vulnerable and underprivileged members of local communities seven days a week, 365 days a year.