A message from Matt Parish, Director of the LFC Foundation…
I hope you’re having an enjoyable Easter, albeit a very different one from usual.
Since the postponement of Premier League games on 13th March, and of our normal community delivery activities the following week, our two main areas of focus and support have been food poverty and social isolation. The support to tackle food poverty has been through working with Fans Supporting Foodbanks and the North Liverpool Foodbank. We’ve arranged fundraising opportunities and offering volunteers to help out. Our social isolation work has been finding ways to stay connected to and support the participants of our Foundation and Red Neighbours programmes across the Liverpool City Region and further afield. Our most vulnerable participants have been our initial focus with our new LFC Connect programme offering a ‘virtual cuppa’ and signposting to other services when needed. We are planning to expand this programme even further over the coming weeks.
LFC staff has come together to support our Foundation and Red Neighbours teams from the manager Jurgen Klopp, his backroom staff and the players, to our club’s digital channels, communications team, fan services, stadium operations and many others. We saw a great example last week with the stadium’s hospitality team. Normally they provide Easter eggs for local children through Red Neighbours at Anfield Stadium. Instead, everyone came together to help the Red Neighbours team deliver them to children’s centres, care homes, foodbanks, Homebaked, the Big Help Project, the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, the Owen McVeigh Foundation and school hubs within the Anfield and Northwood Communities.
We’ve also arranged some personal surprises for local people. Ben, a participant on our Foundation’s employability programme received a call about his experience on the course from Peter McDowell. Virgil Van Dijk then jumped on the call to chat to Ben about becoming a Dad, as well as his career aspirations. We have had a lot of calls like this recently and many more planned.
We have all been moved by the unbelievable courage of NHS staff across the country and it has reminded everyone about the vital role they have in our society. It’s also to remember all the other important key workers at this time including the police, fire service, care workers, public transport workers and shop workers who allow us all to have as normal a life as possible during this challenging time.
It’s also important to recognise all of the workers and volunteers within the community and charity sector who are providing vital support to some of the most vulnerable people in our community. An example being the Foodbank networks across the region.
It’s been brilliant to see the football family coming together to support the community across the country, and this is the same in our region with not only ourselves but also Everton in the Community and Tranmere Rovers delivering multiple programmes, along side many non-league and junior clubs.
Over the coming days and weeks we will be increasing the number of volunteers for community support services as well as expanding the reach of LFC Connect and continuing our support for foodbanks. We’ve also got lots of new online activities coming up including sport and physical activity sessions for all ages as well as classroom and fun activities. Keep an eye on our Foundation and Red Neighbours social media channels.
Unity Is Strength
Matt Parish – Director of the LFC Foundation