Throughout the years Everton have been called the “People’s Club’ and for good reason.
Its support of the Merseyside has always been there in various forms throughout the club’s history. From it’s plans to build a mental health centre to supplying free feminine hygiene products during it’s home fixtures, they are always finding ways to help those who cannot help themselves.
A more recent example would be yesterday’s annual Everton in the Community (EitC) showcase event hosted at USM Finch Farm which included most, if not all the senior squad as well as Marco Silva and the Director of Football, Marcel Brands.
The event saw the announcement of the EitC’s new program ambassadors and culminated in the signing of a community pledge by all involved highlighting the importance of the charities ongoing work and how much it means to the football club.
Speaking through Everton’s official website, manager Marco Silva spoke of the club’s work within the community and how he personally felt part of the family since signing with the Toffees in May of this year.
“From the first day I was here, I felt this club was a family,
“This connection is important and something we want to build.
“It is really impressive how our club can support our community. It is a pleasure for the staff and players to be part of this afternoon.
“It is important for the players, too, they understand and enjoy how the Club wants to support the community.”
The showcase itself comprised of five separate stations, each one highlighting a particular programme or pillar within EitC. Those stations were headed by either established or newly appointed ambassadors with community members and teammates supporting and participating throughout the event.
The Ambassadors who were named during the showcase or already involved in EitC were:
- Disability Ambassador: Seamus Coleman;
- Heath & Well Being Ambassador: Leighton Baines;
- Sports Development Ambassador: Jordan Pickford;
- Youth Engagement Ambassador: Richarlison; and
- Employment, Education and Training Ambassador: Theo Walcott.
Activities during yesterday’s event included:
- A coaching session and match with the charities Down Syndrome team which was supported by the likes of Michael Keane, Yerry Mina, Andre Gomes, James McCarthy and led by Sheamus Coleman;
- An interactive and motivational round table in support of the Your Goals Programme which looks to provide mental health guidance to young people. This activity included Tom Davies, Cenk Tosun, Morgan Schneiderlin, Maarten Stekelenburg and was led by Leighton Baines;
- A literacy and numeracy activity comprised of local primary school children as well as Lucas Digne, Mason Holgate, Idrissa Gana Gueye, Oumar Niasse and led by Jordan Pickford;
| What a day for our participants - to spend time with our entire first-team squad! #EITC— Everton in the Community (@EITC) October 24, 2018
More ➡️ https://t.co/eD1iLUGRR9
Safe to say there was some healthy competition as well! pic.twitter.com/cCraxvuukJ
- Another round table though this time in support of the Kick’s Programme. This programme looks to provide a safe environment for young people to generally have fun in and but one that also looks to assist in the fulfilment of those youngster’s aspirations and goals in life. This station included Gylfi Sigurdsson, Bernard, Kieran Dowell, Jonjoe Kenny, Kurt Zouma, Ademola Lookman and was led by fan favourite, Richarlison; and
- A Theo Walcott led meeting between players such as Phil Jagielka, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Joao Virginia, Beni Baningime and young supporters to discuss the Premier League Enterprise programme which provides locals access to various educational and training opportunities.
After 30 years, the EitC has supported over 20,000 individuals in it’s various programmes and from looking into this year’s showcase, it’s easy for me to understand why I love the Toffees as I do. Events like this show why Everton have earned the ‘People’s Club’ moniker and they will no doubt continue to stand out amongst thier Premier League colleagues as an organisation who supports those who support them.
If you would like to take a closer look at this special event follow this link to the club’s gallery. There are some special photos which should bring a smile to your face.