THE first purpose-built mental health and wellbeing hub attached to a Premier League football club is now officially open to help people across Merseyside.
The People’s Place was declared open by Evertonian and Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham as part of a ceremony attended by a variety of stakeholders who have all played a part in helping to shape the building ready for community use.
The multi-million-pound venue will offer a first of its kind service delivered by a football club’s community foundation.
The building, located just 500 metres away from Goodison Park, will house Everton in the Community’s 15 mental health projects and provide wellbeing activities alongside educational and employment support, using virtual reality, immersive experiences and artificial intelligence to complement delivery.
The People’s Place will also offer professional care from health and wellbeing practitioners, GPs and mental health professionals.
Andy Burnham said: “This is a much-needed facility in the heart of a community that needs it most.
“It will enable Everton in the Community to continue to grow and develop its well-earned reputation in delivering high-quality mental health provision as well as providing access to key clinical services.”
Michael Salla, Deputy CEO at Everton in the Community, said: “The whole community stands to benefit from this hub through improved wellbeing, skills and access to high-quality, health care in a community setting.”
It has all been made possible thanks to significant funding from the Steve Morgan Foundation, the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation, Causeway Technologies and their founder Phil Brown.
Liam Eaglestone, CEO of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “This wonderful new facility will enable Everton in the Community to give more people more access to a broad range of activities and specialist support to enhance every area of health and wellbeing.”
Phil Brown, chief executive of Causeway, said “Mental health is a topic close to our hearts at Causeway as the construction industry that we serve struggles more than most with mental health issues, with research showing that male site workers are three times more likely to commit suicide than the average male in the UK.
“Our ambition is for every club to follow this lead by using the power of the badge to shine a light on mental health and to remove any stigma”.
Funds were also raised by a wide variety of fundraising activity including a gala dinner, a Ravin’ Fit dance session with Jordan Pickford, a hug-a-thon with Andre Gomes, the Spellow Brick Lane commemorative walkway and The Speed Cycle, where a group of cyclists biked around the late Gary Speed’s former clubs in his memory.
Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram was unable to attend the opening.
- ESTABLISHED in 1988, Everton in the Community has been at the forefront of social intervention across Merseyside.
- The charity delivers more than 50 projects a year, specifically designed and developed to combat challenges which are prevalent across Merseyside such as mental health, employability, dementia, education, disability, poverty and homelessness.
- The last 10 years has seen the charity – along with partners – invest more than £13m in the physical regeneration of the area, changing the face of the landscape around Goodison Park, transforming derelict sites into thriving destinations.