Everton in the Community welcomed Walton MP Dan Carden to Liverpool 4 to update him on the impact that the charity is having on his constituency and beyond.
The Shadow Secretary of State for International Development was welcomed by charity CEO Richard Kenyon and directors Sue Gregory and Mike Salla, who were on hand to provide him with insight into some of EitC’s recent achievements, as well as giving Mr Carden the opportunity to see some of the programmes in action.
The visit began at The People’s Hub, where the Walton MP took a short tour before speaking to participants from Everton in the Community’s “41 Goodison” programme to hear-first hand about how the charity has supported them, as well as asking what they want from him as their local MP.
“41 Goodison” supports young people who have been or are at risk of offending, are in care or leaving care and offers them a safe place to develop their skills and access education and employment opportunities.
Mr Carden then journeyed across to The Blue Base, where he had the opportunity to see the charity’s Stand Together programme in action.
Funded by the Premier League, Stand Together aims to tackle social isolation among those aged 70+ on Merseyside, and provides four days of bespoke activities each week, supporting almost 200 vulnerable older adults on a weekly basis.
Mr Carden joined the participants in a short session where they all shared memories from days gone by before those in attendance had the chance to put their own questions to their local MP about his role in their community.
Mr Carden then met with Knowsley Veterans Hub manager Dave Curtis to find out how Everton in the Community supported him on his transition from army life to civilian life and how, with the help of the charity, he has turned from participant to managing his own programme, drawing on his own experiences to support other veterans like him.
Reflecting on his visit with Everton in the Community, Dan Carden said: “I’ve seen first hand the work that Everton in the Community is doing in my constituency in Walton and across Merseyside.
"They are making sure that people are supported; from young people to old people and everyone in between – people that do need support that sometimes the local authority and the state isn’t able to provide and so obviously I welcome all of that.
“I think it’s really important that we use the football club’s popularity in the area, its size and profile to promote good work and charitable works throughout our communities.
"Everton in the Community is leading the way in doing that type of work in what are deprived areas in Liverpool, areas that really do need that support.
"It makes all the difference having the football badge there to encourage people to come and seek help when they need it.
EitC CEO Richard Kenyon added: “It’s really important that we have strong links with our local MP.
"When we were chatting Dan was explaining that people who come through his doors from his local constituency often talk to him about some of the challenges they are facing – we share the share issues within this community and I think there’s the opportunity going forwards for Dan to point more people in our direction.
"It’s very important that we collaborate and make the most of the opportunities that we’ve got together.”