Fans bed down in annual Goodison Sleepout

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Sleeping bags at the ready. Pic © Megan Stringer JMU Journalism

Everton FC Women’s team joined more than 130 supporters on a chilly night at the ground, as the annual Goodison Sleepout took place, with £23,000 raised for the club’s ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ programme.

The sleepout, which is in its fourth year, took place on Friday and saw the team don their sleeping bags and woolly hats to spend a night sleeping in the seats.

Everton in the Community’s Home Is Where the Heart Is scheme was launched by David Unsworth and the Under 23s squad, and its aim was to help young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The programme has raised more than £240,000, and the funds were used to purchase and develop a five-bedroom house close to the stadium. The house is a safe place for young people and is now in full operation.

The U23 team were also due to be at the event this year, however due to their success in the Premier League Cup were no longer able to take part.

Twitter: EITC

Joe Rowe, NCS manager at Everton in the Community, who has taken part in all four sleepouts, told JMU Journalism: “I think the sleepout has developed a lot over the past four years. The first year was all about seeing who would be up for doing something like this, and I think every year the Everton fans have got more and more involved in the sleepout, and wanted to get involved more with the charity to help raise funds for a brilliant programme.

Participants were offered soup to help keep them warm. Pic © Megan Stringer JMU Journalism

“The Home is Where the Heart is campaign started a few years ago with the under 23’s and David Unsworth. They are passionate about supporting young people in our city, so along with some staff from EITC they decided to start this campaign, which involved a number of charity events, one of which is the Goodison sleepout.”

Anna Wright, 21, from Crosby told JMU Journalism: “I did it because I wanted to raise money for a charity because I’ve never done anything like that, and I work in the Everton shop so I know a lot about Everton in the Community.

“It was an eye-opener to be more grateful for having a home to go home to, and it makes me want to go and do more charity work in the summer. It was a really good experience, and it was well planned.”

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About Megan Stringer, JMU Journalism