Mayor Excited By Growing EITC Campus

The Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson paid a special visit to Everton in the Community (EitC), seeing first-hand how the charity’s growing campus on Spellow Lane is helping to improve the lives of local-residents. The charity’s footprint in L4 has grown significantly with the opening of the Everton Free School and Sixth Form College in September 2015, the People’s Hub in December last year and the charity’s plan to refurbish the derelict site of the former St Francis De Sales Parish Club. Mayor Anderson began his tour in the Everton Free School, where he met some of the 200 students aged between 14 and 18 who benefit from an alternative, innovative and personalised curriculum. The Mayor was the guest of honour for the School’s daily assembly, handing out certificates and prizes to reward the term’s hard-working students. The £4.2million development opened in September 2015 and increases community-driven opportunities for self-improvement and entry into employment, education or training. The tour continued into EitC’s People’s Hub, which first opened its doors in December of last year and has since become a hive of activity for members of the local community, as well as a place for the charity to call home. Part funded by the Big Lottery and Football Foundation, the site is due for completion in Spring 2017 and provides specific community interventions in a more intimate environment allowing community groups to feel they have a connection to, and ownership of, the space. It also boasts an onsite café for staff and local residents, with all profits going towards the charity. The Mayor was then able to visit the site of the former St Francis De Sales Parish Club, which will become the latest addition to the Toffee’s innovative ‘community campus’ in L4. Everton in the Community are currently working on plans to refurbish the existing building to create a large open plan, accessible, 7-day-a-week community centre for EitC and a dedicated accessible matchday lounge. On a matchday the venue will be used as a lounge for disabled supporters – notably those who may want to avoid the pre-match hustle and bustle of Goodison Park. The project will ensure EitC are able to expand on the community activities provided specifically for the charity’s elderly and disabled participants. Mayor Anderson said: “I have always been impressed by the work Everton in the Community carry out and these new facilities they have developed have blown me away. I was delighted to be able to speak to some of the young people at the school and some of the local-residents who have told me about how the charity and the facilities have changed their lives. “Denise and her team have carried out some fantastic work over the years. I’m excited by what this ‘community campus’ will allow the team here to do for local-residents and the wider community in the years to come. I’m proud to be a Blue but I know this ‘community campus’ and the work carried out here will make everyone in the city proud.”  Everton in the Community’s Executive Chair, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale MBE said: “It has been a privilege to welcome Mayor Anderson. Without the support of the Mayor and Liverpool City Council we would not have been able to acquire the land to develop these community facilities. Our research and findings highlighted the challenges that people in our community face and through the campus of buildings we are creating we will be able to address some of these issues head on.
“These new facilities will create a ‘Toffee Trail’ leading to Goodison Park, from the site of the old St Francis De Sales Parish Club, taking in the Everton Free School and the People’s Hub on Spellow Lane and of course right up to the ‘Old Lady’ herself. It’s important to us that we continue to build on the work of Everton in the Community and remain embedded in our community.
“This project has been much deeper than bricks and mortar – these buildings are a physical demonstration of how we are broadening our work in L4.”  

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