COMMENT | The fight is on to save our communities

Supporting the work of Everton in the Community has shown us how social responsibility is more than just a box-ticking exercise, writes Lee Royle of Roylemac10.

Life expectancy in Norris Green, Liverpool, is currently four to five years lower than the national average, largely attributed to health problems arising from poverty. It was the icing on a rather sour cake then for me to see that MPs had voted against professional footballer and former victim of child poverty, Marcus Rashford’s campaign to provide underprivileged children with free school meals. A crippled economy accompanied by a government unwilling to support disadvantaged children begs the question, who will?

The financial struggle caused by the global pandemic is all too clear for everyone to see, with a lot of uncertainty still hanging over many heads. However, despite the challenges the global pandemic continues to churn up, there is still hope out there for those that need it.

As son of former Everton Football Club manager and Club giant, Joe Royle, and thanks to my father’s deep-rooted connections within the club, I was fortunate enough to grow up and witness first-hand Everton in the Community’s work in providing a better future for people across Merseyside.

Since it was founded in 1988, Everton in the Community has been at the forefront of social intervention across the area, tackling issues that others have shied away from, including child poverty. The charity has also secured approval to build its proposed mental health facility, The People’s Place, which will sit on the strip of land next to The People’s Hub on Spellow Lane.

Such charities are the backbone of so many communities, working tirelessly to improve the livelihoods of the disadvantaged and offer individuals a platform from which they can begin to turn their life around. The more support they receive in accomplishing this, the more communities can become more prosperous. Living standards are improved, the local economy picks up, developers and investors will begin to take notice and before you know it, there’s a new residential complex that is offering affordable housing to the local community. If we were to lose these charities and services, the impact could be devastating to society.

Fortunately, the construction industry has seen no serious let-up during the Covid-19 pandemic with schemes popping up across the North West. It is a true testament to the industry of its resilience and determination to provide spaces for communities to enjoy.

However, it is important for us not to lose sight of the individuals that turn developments into thriving, close-knit, bustling communities.

Considering this, it only feels right to me that in these extraordinary times, those of us who can, must step up and help our local communities to thrive.

That is why for every individual unit registered within Everton in the Community’s delivery area of Merseyside, Roylemac10 will donate £10 to help support the charity’s work in alleviating child poverty. Having recently completed individual building warranties for 97 units at Parliament Square in Liverpool, which equates to a £970 donation for the charity, the partnership has really hit the ground running and is helping to make an immediate positive impact on the local community.

A recent independent evaluation has shown that for every £1 invested in the charity, £14.74 of societal value is generated, meaning that our initial donation would equate to more than £14,000 of societal value for the local area.

The support for development, growth, sustainability, infrastructural improvement, and the need for business is there, all that’s needed now is the community.

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