The LFC Foundation, the official charity of Liverpool Football Club, will establish six new ‘community wellbeing hubs’ in areas of need across the city after it secured new funding from the Steve Morgan Foundation and DCMS.
The £2.66million investment will see the hubs being set up at existing community venues operated by partner organisations in Anfield, Kirkby, Toxteth, Bootle, Birkenhead and Speke by the end of January 2021.
It will enable the club’s charity to reach more children and young people in high-need communities and focus on key services to help support the city’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The hubs will also help to break down barriers that some members of the community experience accessing programmes, such as proximity and the cost of travel.
The Foundation will expand its Premier League programme ‘Kicks’ and employability provision ‘Works’ as well as its inclusion and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) school programmes, which will provide a range of free and inclusive sessions to more than 4,000 participants. The expansion also allows the Foundation to deliver specialist inclusion sports sessions in every SEND school across Merseyside.
Matt Parish, director of LFC Foundation, said: “To receive this level of support from both the Steve Morgan Foundation and the DCMS is amazing.
“This will enable us to deliver more programmes in the heart of communities across the Liverpool City Region. The Steve Morgan Foundation is already one of the biggest providers of grant funding to community groups and charities in the region and this round of funding will take that up to an even greater level.
“This funding will not only be directly supporting thousands of young people and their families through delivery of our programmes but also a minimum of six community-based venues who in turn support many more people in the communities in which they are based.”
Steve Morgan, founder and chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “The Foundation is proud to have been awarded £10million of government funding, which the Foundation is matching pound for pound to support charities and not-for-profit organisations to continue delivering essential services in the face of the pandemic.
“Our team is working flat out to ensure that we target those organisations working at grassroots level in the heart of our communities.”
The funding is part of the Government’s £750million package for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector and its Community Match Challenge, which invites philanthropists, foundations and grant-making organisations to put forward new funding with an offer to match funds raised on a pound-for-pound basis.
Under the scheme Everton in the Community (EitC) has also received £1.5million from the Steve Morgan Foundation.
The funding will help EitC tackle the worsening education inequality gap for young people across Liverpool, which has further widened as a result of the pandemic, and build on its award-winning mental health provision.
The need for safe and effective mental health support has never been more essential with evidence stating that the direct and indirect impacts of Covid-19 have increased the risk of suicide, with a rise of 30.5% across Merseyside from March-August 2020 in comparison to the same months in 2019.
EitC Chief Executive Officer Richard Kenyon said: “This funding will enable us to tackle some of the social inequalities in our city head-on and allow us to help more people in need. Thanks to Steve Morgan Foundation and the government’s Community Match Challenge initiative, Everton in the Community can have an even greater positive impact on the lives of thousands people across Liverpool City Region.
“The funding will also move us closer to bringing our much-needed mental health facility, The People’s Place, to Liverpool 4 and we are more committed than ever to providing first-class support relating to suicide prevention and positive mental health. Together with the Steve Morgan Foundation we are committed to addressing the inevitable increase of mental-health related issues as a result of the pandemic.”