Everton in the Community have been honoured The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of the role and impact that the charity’s volunteers have across Liverpool and beyond.
The volunteering arm of Everton in the Community, the official charity of Everton Football Club, have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Established in 1988, Everton in the Community is one of the UK’s top sporting charities and is considered one of the Premier League’s leading community schemes due to the quality and reach of its programmes. Its 40+ social programmes tackle a range of issues affecting the city of Liverpool including mental health, employment, education, poverty and disability.
The charity currently has more than 250 active volunteers who collectively contribute more than 10,000 hours of volunteer time to their local community each year through supporting programme delivery, assisting with fundraising opportunities and have even taken part in a social action outreach project in Nakuru, Kenya, helping to renovate two primary schools as well as funding and installing a water pump for the village.
And in addition to receiving The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, Everton in the Community has also received a special designation in recognition of the support provided to its local community in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Whilst Covid-19 brought halt to much of Everton in the Community’s traditional face-to-face delivery, the charity’s volunteers still played an important part in supporting its ‘Blue Family’ campaign which was set up to provide vital aid and assistance to the most vulnerable individuals and families across Liverpool. Volunteers helped to deliver essential food shops to those in need as well as supporting the charity’s Blue Buddy scheme which provides regular phone calls to people who are socially isolated or lonely.
Everton in the Community is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
“We are honoured to have been granted The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and it is testament to the hard work and unwavering commitment that our volunteers give to our charity day-in day-out.
“Volunteering is a vital component of all that Everton in the Community is and does and quite simply, we wouldn’t be where we are today without the contribution of our amazing volunteers and our volunteer team.
“On behalf of everyone at Everton in the Community, I’d like to thank each and every one of our volunteers for their ongoing support and dedication.” The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Independent Committee Chair Sir Martyn Lewis, said: “There is no finer example of democracy in action than people getting together at a local level to tackle a problem or issue at the heart of their community. This year’s magnificent award-winning groups touch virtually every area of need across our society. “They also highlight the growing and key role which volunteers are playing in times of rapid change and unprecedented challenges. Whether driven by a neighbourly passion to help others or to achieve that well recognised “high” of personal satisfaction, volunteering taps into a rich spirit of generosity, ingenuity and kindness. The Queen’s Award’s judges are proud to honour the achievements of those who help to make our country great.”
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation. This year’s award winners includes volunteer groups from across the UK, including an inclusive tennis club in Lincolnshire; a children’s bereavement charity in London; a volunteer minibus service in Cumbria; a community radio station in Inverness and a mountain rescue team in Powys.
Everton in the Community representatives will receive the award crystal and certificate from Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant, Mr Mark Blundell, later this summer. Furthermore, two volunteers from the charity will have the opportunity to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022 (depending on restrictions at the time), along with other recipients of this year’s Award.