Supporters camp out for this year’s Goodison Park Sleepout
2 months ago
Supporters of Everton in the Community spent the night braving the elements at Goodison Park on Friday 13 October to help raise awareness and vital funds for the charity’s ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ programme.
Now in its seventh year, the annual Goodison Park Sleepout offers participants the chance to experience a unique night under the lights at the Grand Old Lady whilst giving them an insight into the struggles that people battling homelessness go through daily.
As the Club’s move to its new waterfront home gets closer, this presented one of the last opportunities for supporters to camp in the Sir Philip Carter Park Stand. Close to 100 Evertonians, including content creator, StillRyan – who boasts over half a million followers on TikTok – came together to support people who are vulnerable to homelessness from across the Liverpool City Region, raising over £20,000 and counting for the charity’s ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ programme.
During the evening, participants were given an insight into Everton in the Community and the programme the event raised funds for with Everton presenter Sarah Halpin hosting a Q&A with the charity’s CEO Sue Gregory before welcoming support workers Michael Branch and John Olyott on stage.
Whilst John provided attendees on the night with an understanding of the day-to-day running of the programme and its everyday impact, we heard how former player, Michael is adapting to working for Everton off the pitch after representing the Blues on the pitch in the mid-90s.
Funds raised from the event are channelled towards the sustainability and development of ‘Home Is Where the Heart Is’ which supports young people on the cusp of homelessness through a four-bedroomed residential house. The residence – funded from previous sleepouts – provides a safe space for at-risk young people, supporting them to acquire qualifications and employment, manage bills and rebuild family relationships.
Since its launch in 2016, the Goodison Park Sleepout has helped fund the charity’s efforts to combat youth homelessness and poverty – with supporters across the region taking part over the years and raising a significant amount of money for the ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is Programme’.
Sue Gregory, CEO at Everton in the Community commented:
“The turnout for this year’s sleepout has been fantastic. It’s heartwarming to see so many people taking part and coming together to raise funds and increase awareness for our ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ programme.
“Our house truly does provide life-changing support for young people who are on the cusp of homelessness due to a variety of issues. The staff work directly with the residents to offer a support package that’s specifically tailored to them – assisting with queries relating to money, health, employment, legal rights and more.
“The targeted support doesn’t stop there – once residents feel ready to move on, the team help with their transition into their own homes as well. We’ve witnessed many success stories over the years and the money raised from the sleepout is so vital to enable us to keep delivering this programme to those who need it most.”