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Everton in the Community and Merseyrail unveil mental health mural at Kirkdale station

Everton in the Community have unveiled a brand-new, thought-provoking mental health mural at Kirkdale train station to help inspire conversations about mental health and provide support for those who are struggling.

Created in partnership with Merseyrail, the artwork was officially unveiled by the charity’s CEO Sue Gregory, Everton Football Club Ambassador Ian Snodin and Merseyrail’s Acting Managing Director Jane English.

Everton in the Community and Merseyrail unveil mental health mural at Kirkdale station
Photo – Merseyrail

The mural was created in November 2022 and saw Everton midfielder Tom Davies join young people from the Club’s official charity, www.evertoninthecommunity.org (EitC) at a Premier League Kicks session to help its participants create a visual message of support for those struggling with their mental health. 

The Academy graduate headed to Zap Graffiti in Liverpool City Centre to meet the young adults, overseeing some of the creative decisions and putting his artsy stamp on the designs, and most importantly offered his own insights into mental health. 

The artwork sessions ran up until Christmas last year and were delivered through the charity’s Premier League Kicks Targeted programme, which forms part of the wider Kicks provision – targeting young people at-risk from social issues that are most prevalent on the streets of Merseyside including criminal exploitation, anti-social behaviour, poor mental health and low aspirations. 

The participants that were in these sessions are aged 13 to 14 and currently study at Everton Free School, which provides alternative education for young people who have previously struggled with traditional methods in mainstream school. Those involved worked alongside a local graffiti artist and EitC staff to develop their art skills and explore positive examples of mental health. 

At the sessions, Davies also heard from participants about their personal mental health journeys, how the project had a beneficial impact on their wellbeing and promoted conversations about ways to express emotions positively – including through art. 

The final mural has now been placed on display at Kirkdale train station alongside a dedicated plaque. Passengers and residents are encouraged to view the uplifting yet moving piece of artwork. 

Sue Gregory, CEO said:

“It’s a massive honour to have been at the official unveiling. The participants of Kicks, our staff, Tom and the team at Zap Graffiti have worked together to create such a beautiful mural for an incredibly worthy cause.”

“This shows why it’s crucial to have conversations about mental health and wellbeing, especially with young people, and how it’s possible to express emotions in a positive way. I’m confident that the Kicks participants involved would have certainly come away with healthier coping strategies when it comes to articulating their feelings.”

Jane English, Acting Managing Director at Merseyrail added:

“We’re delighted to finally unveil the mental health mural at Kirkdale train station. It’s important to us to give back to the local community of Merseyside and we’re proud to have been able to facilitate this fantastic initiative.”

“Far too many people suffer in silence, so we’re hoping that passengers traveling to and from Kirkdale train station, and even passers-by, are impacted positively by this piece of artwork – it’s been placed where it has to inspire conversations about mental health and send a message of support to those struggling.”

Robert Anderson, Leader of Extended Curriculum at Everton Free School also stated:

“This is a great opportunity for us to continue our partnership with Merseyrail, by putting our stamp on Kirkdale train station. Our students have loved working with Everton in the Community to create this mental health mural, and we are really proud to be a part of this fantastic project.”

READ MORE: Everton in the Community’s Blue Base Pantry feeds almost 18,000 people

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