Post by Everton News. on Jun 23, 2017 16:04:01 GMT
Everton's People's Hub Receives Royal Seal Of Approval
Everton Football Club welcomed HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, to the home of its official charity today, as part of a celebratory opening event.
His Royal Highness was guided on a tour of Everton in the Community’s (EitC) new People’s Hub, before taking part in a commemorative plaque unveiling with Club representatives.
In the shadows of Goodison Park, the EitC People’s Hub creates an innovative ‘community campus’ that meets the needs of all members of the local community and is a place for the charity to call home.
Staff and participants from across the charity were able to showcase their activities to HRH, which take place day-in, day-out at the Hub.
Everton’s community staff members began moving into the site last December and it has since become a hive of community activity, housing many of the charity’s award-winning projects during the day. By evening, it provides specific community interventions in a more intimate environment allowing community groups to feel they have a connection to, and ownership of, the space.
As part of his visit, The Earl explored the site’s Cruyff Court, which was opened by Everton manager and Johan Cruyff Foundation Ambassador Ronald Koeman, last month. The multi-sport pitch, which today housed an EitC amputee football fixture, provides children and adults in the local neighbourhood with a safe place to play sports.
From there, the tour continued inside The People’s Hub where the party was introduced to staff and participants from across the charity including:
Refugee support session with The British Red Cross ‘Knit and Natter’ session with local residents ‘National Citizen Service’ activity with teenagers ‘Breathing Space’, which supports people living with mental health issues Individuals aged over 75 from ‘Stand Together’ Everton Apprentices
Phil Duffy, Executive Director of Everton in the Community, said: “The creation of The People’s Hub has been a long journey and it’s great to officially launch our new home.
“It was extremely exciting for our staff and participants to meet with His Royal Highness and we were honoured to show him some of the work which goes on here 365 days of the year. We hope that his experience was as memorable for him, as it was for us.
“The Earl’s visit marks the beginning of a new era for our charity and local residents – we hope that they will enjoy using The People’s Hub for recreation, support and socialising for many years to come.
“We must also take this moment to thank everyone who has supported us along the way to help create a lasting legacy for Liverpool 4, particularly the Big Lottery and Football Foundation.”
James Harcourt, the Big Lottery Fund’s England Grant-Making Director, said: “Everton in the Community is doing some amazing things in Liverpool, using sport to motivate and inspire people.
“We’re proud to have supported the building of their new People’s Hub, which is a great example of how money raised by National Lottery players for good causes can strengthen communities.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I am delighted that a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has enabled Everton in the Community to build this fantastic community hub. The development will provide a real boost to sport in the local area and a special thanks must go to HRH Prince Edward for officially opening the new facility.
Since 2000, the Football Foundation has supported grassroots projects worth more than £1.4bn, investing into areas where the need is greatest and where it will have the biggest impact in terms of getting more people playing football and a wide range of other sports.
“With this funding, provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, we are helping to improve community sports facilities across the country and thereby the playing experience of those who take part. This project in Liverpool is the latest addition to the inventory of modern community sports sites we are developing that cater for the needs of local people who want to play sport purely for the love of it, and to stay healthy.”
British Red Cross Refugee Support Service Manager for Merseyside, Malena Eriksson-Lee, said: “We’re delighted to come together with HRH Prince Edward and alongside EitC today, to mark the official opening of the People’s Hub.
“The Red Cross supported around 19,000 refugees and asylum seekers in need of help after fleeing conflict and persecution last year.
“This now includes a fortnightly drop-in at the People’s Hub, where we offer advice, support, and a chance to socialise for people who are refugees or seeking asylum.
“Today is also a great opportunity to celebrate Refugee Week in Merseyside, with this fantastic example of effective partnership working, for the benefit of the local community.”
Like many inner-city areas across the UK, L4 is an area with acute social issues to consider. EitC has conducted research and consultations to establish the needs of the local community, highlighting the challenges people face as well as exploring the solutions that may bring a significant impact to local people’s lives.
Throughout the consultation process various themes were identified and thus The People’s Hub provides a diverse range of activities that will address the extensive areas of need within the L4 community while also fitting into a range of local, regional and national plans including addressing a number of key indicators in Liverpool City Council’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
The design of the new facility was carried out by Condy Lofthouse Architects with the build contract awarded to Ashlar Construction (NW) Limited who specialise in delivering innovative new build and refurbishment solutions for most construction sectors.