Everton campaign hopes to beat the blues

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Marcel Brand, Ian Snodin and Graham Stuart pose with charity CEO Richard Kenyon for Wallasey Supporters’ Club at New Brighton fundraiser. Pic © Stephen Killen JMU Journalism

Eager Everton fans flocked in their numbers to listen to the plans of their Dutch Director of Football, as they raised money for a new mental health campaign.

Marcel Brands, who was accompanied by Blues legends Ian Snodin and Graeme Stuart, was at the fundraising event for the club’s mental health project, ‘The People’s Place’, at Marine Street Social in New Brighton.

The initiative was launched in August of this year and has received backing from everyone involved with Everton Football Club.

The campaign’s aim is to provide services to anyone, regardless of gender, location or age, to promote positivity and support those suffering with suicidal thoughts.

Subject to planning permission, Everton in the Community’s mental health facility will be positioned just 500 metres from Goodison Park, and adjacent to the £1.2million People’s Hub, which is situated on Spellow Lane.

The fundraising goal set by the club £1 million, with around 5% already brought in, although no official figure has been released, at the time of writing, from Friday’s fundraiser on the Wirral.

Brands took to the stage for half an hour to discuss all things Everton, including transfers, the academy and the most important thing of the night: Everton in the Community’s brand new project.

Twitter: Stephen Killen

Everton in the Community has already worked with veterans, the elderly and has previously launched ‘Girls on Side’ for women suffering from mental illness, or are struggling with their wellbeing.

Ian Snodin was appointed as an Everton in the Community ambassador in 2014, alongside fellow ex-Everton player Graham Stuart. He believes the work that Everton in the Community do is unrivalled in comparison with other Premier League clubs.

He told JMU Journalism: “It’s so important, we can see that from tonight’s event. It’s great to get the community involved – we are the people’s club, we are a family club. We win numerous awards for the work we do and it’s something club are really proud of. It’s so important we keep this going.

“First and foremost, it means everything to the club. Without the fans, Everton FC are nothing. To our fans the club is a religion. The most important thing is to be alive and that what we at Everton try to do: save lives.”

Twitter: Stephen Killen