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Everton in the Community’s The People’s Place marks 12 months

Everton in the Community is marking the first anniversary of The People’s Place, it’s mental health and wellbeing centre located in Liverpool 4. The charity has witnessed over 5,000 visits from the local residents, general public, and participants from different programmes over the past year.

The People’s Place is the first-of-its-kind service delivered by a football club’s community foundation and promotes positive mental health and suicide prevention through an extensive range of evidence-based provision.

Everton in the Community’s The People’s Place marks 12 months

The facility, worth millions, is home to 15 tailored mental health projects managed by a charity to provide support for all individuals in the community. Additionally, the facility houses more than 60 programs that also operate from the hub, offering various wellbeing activities, educational and employment support. The facility also offers a layer of professional care from GPs, mental health nurses, and clinical psychologists in partnership with Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust.

Everton in the Community has been offering targeted development programmes since 2008, and its mental health provision has undergone changes to cater to the evolving needs of its local communities. The L4 area, where the building is located, is known for its low socio-economic status, which has resulted in a higher prevalence of health disparities and inequalities. Nationally, Everton falls within the most deprived one percent of neighbourhoods.

In addition to that, the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis have worsened the risk factors associated with poor mental health and suicide among local residents, combined with some alarming statistics. As a result, Everton in the Community decided to establish a physical presence in L4 to normalise mental health and become a symbol of hope. Hence, The People’s Place was opened in March 2023.

Everton in the Community’s The People’s Place marks 12 months

The local community has benefited greatly from the opening of a much-needed facility. Since its establishment, 216 individuals have been able to access psychological support, health screening checks, and GP appointments. Additionally, 225 participants from various programs offered by the charity attend weekly sessions at The People’s Place. Over the past 12 months, 25 individuals have visited The People’s Place seeking help, with 4 of them classified as being in crisis. Everton in the Community has been able to direct these individuals to either one of its existing programs or external support services.

The People’s Place has had a significant impact on the wider L4 community, providing valuable support to many local residents through one-off engagements, including members of the Blue Base Pantry initiative. Approximately 150 families visit the hub’s services regularly each week. The Citizens Advice Bureau, located in The People’s Place, offers finance and welfare support to participants, increasing footfall to the building. Additionally, the Young Persons Advisory Service, which is hosted weekly at The People’s Place, gives young people immediate access to counseling and therapy, enabling Everton in the Community to extend this support to all of the young people it engages with regularly.

The People’s Place has achieved several key highlights during the past year. They have successfully secured funding to deliver an ADHD support program for young people who visit the hub. The program is in partnership with Alder Hey, a local children’s hospital. This initiative will significantly reduce patient waiting times and will be further supported by Everton in the Community’s newly appointed Neurodiversity Coordinator.

New funding was also obtained to launch England’s first heart and lung community-based screening hub; bringing together NHS Primary and Secondary Services all under one roof in The People’s Place, with such system-level change having attracted recognition from global leaders working in this space. The charity is also set to host a bereavement drop-in session at the facility, supported by a SWAN Bereavement nurse – a first of-its-kind community-based service delivered by a football club’s community foundation. 

Everton in the Community’s The People’s Place marks 12 months

In September 2023, Everton in the Community unveiled the award-winning ‘Brickyard: Grow, Cook, Eat’ show garden at its new home, The People’s Place. Following its success at the 2023 RHS Flower show at Tatton Park, the sustainable outdoor space was permanently moved to the hub and has since been used to support one-on-one therapy sessions, group counselling, community events and outreach work to aid positive mental health and wellbeing.  

Furthermore, the charity’s mental health provision has expanded since The People’s Place opened, with three brand-new bespoke programmes launched, supported by the recent appointment of a Senior People’s Place Coordinator. This includes ‘Stand By Her’ – the region’s first female-focused project designed specifically to support women from the military with the transition back to civilian life and a children’s-only mental health programme for young people who have been bereaved by suicide or self-inflicted death, launched in partnership with ‘Alfie’s Squad’. Everton in the Community has also worked closely with its GP to develop ‘Everton Cares’, which supports individuals living with long-term health conditions and helps them to develop positive lifestyle habits.  

What’s more, the charity recently launched its ambitious five-year strategic plan, ‘Trinity Project’. The strategy is underpinned by three powerful pillars, including ‘EitC Minds’ which aims to significantly improve the quality of life for Liverpool residents living with dementia as well as their carers, alongside providing high-quality mental health services to ensure everyone receives the help they need. The People’s Place will play a key role in the implementation of EitC Minds; facilitating the expansion and enhancement of the charity’s mental health provision whilst also hosting an ongoing calendar of activities, events and campaigns to promote discussion around mental health.  

Reflecting on the facility’s first anniversary, Everton in the Community’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Minds Lead, Michael Salla said:

“We’re in such a privileged position whereby we can make a significant difference within our local communities and that’s exactly what we’ve delivered by having a physical presence in L4 with The People’s Place. 

“Great strides have already been made; the building has provided a real beacon of hope in the heart of our community and is paying dividends in helping to tackle that stigma surrounding mental health. We see more people coming forwards every day, feeling comfortable and confident to talk about their mental health as well as accessing support.  

“It’s been a successful year of growth for The People’s Place, and looking ahead, it will develop even further as we aim to expand and enhance our existing mental health provision through EitC Minds. The hub will be instrumental in driving this forward and helping us to meet the ever-increasing demand for mental health support across Liverpool City Region.” 

The last 11 years has seen Everton in the Community – along with partners – physically regenerate the L4 area and The People’s Place completed its £13 million-pound Goodison Campus. With this in mind, the Club’s official charity would like to reiterate its thanks on record to key funders Steve Morgan Foundation, The Football Foundation, Causeway Technologies, Community Match Challenge Fund in association with DCMS and Phil Brown, Evertonian and philanthropist.  

To find out more about The People’s Place, click here.  

READ MORE: FIGS HELP TO RAISE OVER £1.5M IN SOCIETAL VALUE FOR EVERTON IN THE COMMUNITY

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