Liverpool Football Club, LFC Foundation and Red Neighbours have been working together since the outbreak of COVID-19 to support their local communities during these unprecedented and difficult times.
Following the postponement of the Premier League in March, LFC took immediate and decisive action to help those in need.
Through its official charity, the Liverpool FC Foundation, and its community neighbour team, Red Neighbours, three areas of support were prioritised for the club’s Unity Is Strength COVID-19 community response work - foodbanks and food, social isolation, and the NHS and key workers.
This was also supported by more than 100 volunteers who registered to lend their time to assist the club, LFC Foundation and Red Neighbours with the community response effort.
The club, which has a long-standing relationship with foodbanks in North Liverpool through its Red Neighbours team, immediately set out to enhance its support due to a sharp increase in demand for food across the city.
A few highlights from the assistance provided in this area to date includes £90,000 donated to the North Liverpool Foodbank, over £40,000 donated to the club’s Unity is Strength Emergency Foodbank Appeal to support the Trussell Trust’s Foodbank network across Merseyside, 1,000 free fresh meals per week donated to local residents in need, community groups, school hubs, the NHS and key workers, more than 25,000kg of food distributed from the North Liverpool Foodbank’s central hub and over 3,400 people provided with free breakfast hampers.
Social isolation is another key area of importance in response to the immediate crisis in order to support the elderly community and other vulnerable people who may be shielding and experiencing loneliness due during the lockdown.
A few highlights of the support provided in this area includes 950 calls made by the club’s LFC Connect phone call check-in service for those isolated members of the community, surprise calls made by Jürgen Klopp, Virgil Van Dijk, Andy Robertson and LFC legends, and LFC Foundation launched its virtual delivery for their regular participants with sessions including fitness, mindfulness and football.
Providing support to the NHS and key workers is another vital focus of the club’s COVID-19 community response work, to show our collective appreciation and acknowledge their dedication.
A few highlights from this area of support includes 25,000 protective face masks donated by LFC Foundation to Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to be distributed to Liverpool GP’s, over 3,500 cookies delivered to 327 pharmacies across Merseyside, over 300 goodie bags donated to frontline care workers, young people, new mums and families affected by COVID-19.
Matt Parish, director of LFC Foundation, said: "The past few months have brought uncertainty and difficulties for many people living in our local communities, so it was important from the outset that we had a clear plan in place of how we could provide the best support possible to make a real difference.
"To witness how the wider city region has pulled together to work collaboratively to support each other has been fantastic, and for us to be a part of that whilst continuing to extend our own work in the community is really inspiring.
"I am also incredibly proud of our staff and volunteers who to date have contributed over 750 hours to support our community response work. This demonstrates just how much people care about their local communities and are willing to help in whatever way they can.”
Forbes Duff, Red Neighbours’ senior manager, added: "I’d like to thank all the incredible people who are working so hard in our local communities to provide essential support to those who need it most and also our NHS and key workers who strive every day to keep us all safe.
"Their work is a constant source of inspiration to us and it pushes us to expand our community work further and further to help more and more people and for that we thank you.
"The impact of our work is great to see but it’s just the beginning, we have more work to do especially in relation to our COVID-19 recovery response work, which we will be working hard on in the coming months.
"I’d also like to thank our army of volunteers who have enabled us to amplify our community work and provide additional support within our local communities."