Liverpool FC captains Jordan Henderson and Niamh Fahey join forces to celebrate 20 years of the Club’s official charity – the LFC Foundation – praising its inspiring ability to bring communities together and deliver work that is more important than ever.
The Reds’ skippers spoke out as the Foundation marked its anniversary with the launch of its second annual social impact report, which reveals that in the last 12 months alone it has supported over 83,000 people, with almost two-thirds of participants coming from the most deprived areas of the UK.
The independent report also found that in the last year the LFC Foundation directly delivered £8m into the local economy and contributed nearly £25 million in health benefits.
It has overseen more than 348,000 hours of programme activity – up from 66,000 the previous year – and now has an overall annual social value of £80m, which means that for every £1 spent the LFC Foundation creates a social return of £16.
Speaking on behalf of the wider LFC family, captain Jordan Henderson, said: “As a proud supporter of the LFC Foundation I’ve been lucky to see first-hand the difference their work makes to so many young people and families across the city and around the world.
“In these uncertain times their work is more important than ever and seeing their dedication and passion to create opportunities for young people is really inspiring.
“With the support of everyone in the LFC family I know the next 20 years will be just as successful and impactful.”
The report, conducted by research and technology company Substance, also highlights how much the LFC Foundation has grown over the last 20 years, and it now employs 114 people and works with more than 200 partners.
The LFC Foundation and Red Neighbours, its community programme, now oversees more than 50 programmes locally, seven days a week, delivering real change and creating life-changing opportunities for the most underserved communities in local parks, community hubs, classrooms and on football pitches.
This equates to an average of 195 separate sessions a week, with LFC Foundation also working in 65 schools across the Liverpool City Region.
LFC Women’s skipper, Niamh Fahey, added: “Access to sport for children and young people is so important for many reasons. Not only does it have a positive impact on physical and mental health by encouraging a healthy lifestyle and building important skills such as confidence and resilience.
“But it also has the power to bring communities together.”
Improving health and wellbeing is at the heart of what the LFC Foundation does, but it delivers lots more besides, including tackling food poverty and inequalities.
In the last year, the Foundation and Red Neighbours donated over 128,000 items, mostly food hampers, to the local community, with a total value of over £750,000.
It also works to reduce crime by providing support to keep kids out of gangs and helps combat youth unemployment by teaching young people the skills they need to get into jobs.
The LFC Foundation also uses the latest pioneering techniques to help improve young people’s mental health and sense of belonging.
The charity’s Sound Minds and Red Hot Beats programmes both harness the power of music and sport to teach mental health and wellbeing skills.
Through its partnership with Right to Play, the LFC Foundation is expanding its international reach to the most vulnerable children and their communities across the world.
It has Side by Side programmes in Thailand, Senegal and Tanzania and aims to develop into a further two countries by 2025.
Matt Parish, chief executive of LFC Foundation, said: “Our mission for the last 20 years has been to harness the power of the LFC family to create life-changing opportunities for the most underserved communities home and away.
“This is something everyone at the LFC Foundation delivers with an immense sense of pride. So, it is particularly satisfying to see just how much all that great work is impacting the Liverpool City Region and beyond.
“It’s really important for us to understand the outcomes of our work and also have the opportunity to discover its monetary value and health benefits locally.
“To know that we directly deliver £8m into the local economy and almost £25m in health benefits is fantastic and a credit to all our colleagues who work so hard to help deliver life-changing opportunities for young people.
“It’s also very fitting that this social impact report is published as we celebrate two decades of the LFC Foundation and allows us to really take stock of how far we’ve come.
“To see our hours of programme activity rise from 66,000 to 348,000 is a wonderful achievement, and the range of programmes we deliver, from sport to mental health support and crime prevention, shows how we have grown as an organisation.
“The key learnings from this our second social impact report will enable us to continue our growth and develop new ways to engage with participants and partners.
“Our aim, as always, is to reach our goal of providing long-term change for communities by reducing the negative impacts they face with high levels of deprivation, and ensure our work has a lasting impact and benefits future generations across our region and beyond.
“For us this report is just the beginning, and this work will be ongoing to ensure that we continue to define, monitor, assess and report on our impact to help us in our ambition to be the leading Foundation in the sector.”
To read LFC Foundation’s Impact Report 2022 in full, please click here. To find out more about the LFC Foundation, please visit foundation.liverpoolfc.com