It has been a year since Liverpool entered lockdown for the first time. When reminiscing about the last 12 months, there is only one place we can begin, and it is thinking about the people in our great city and across the UK who have lost their lives as a result of Covid-19, as well as all of their friends and families.
The past 12 months have undoubtedly been one of the biggest challenges for our whole country, from the introduction of social distancing and wearing face coverings, to the endless hours of homeschooling.
Throughout all the difficulties we have adapted and continued to support our community. It is still a shock we have had to pause our football games, as they provide more than just football, from a friendly hello to vital support in the community. However, we are so proud of our staff and volunteers for adapting and making a real change in the last 12 months.
In March 2020, we have seen an increase in demand for foodbanks. According to The Trussell Trust, during the start of the pandemic around half of the people who used a food bank had never needed one before.
This was the moment we knew we needed to support our community. Our small team got together to arrange food deliveries for people within the community struggling or in self-isolation. We were overwhelmed with the response from organisations to support with donations of food and essentials.
As we began to adapt, we understood the importance of complying with government guidelines and keeping all staff, volunteers, and members safe. Therefore, our small team of staff and volunteers all received covid-19 training.
Due to the regular change in guidance, our staff is receiving frequent cpd training to ensure our community is as safe as possible.
December is always our busiest time of year due to the launch of our annual Christmas Toy Appeal. As the country was in a national lockdown, we knew this was going to be difficult for many reasons. However, as a team, we worked together to overcome difficulties.
Firstly, we partnered up with Home Bargains who became our official drop-off point across the city. We also worked with: Morrison’s, Asda, Tesco, Merseyside Police, and Huge Media.
As well as working with some of the biggest businesses in Liverpool we also took the toy appeal digital by creating an Amazon Wish List. By creating a Wish List we were able to receive donations from people who were isolating and cutting down on social interaction.
As a result, our team hit a record high collecting over 5,000 gifts for children living in domestic abuse and homeless accommodation.
Due to the increase in demand for foodbanks with families with children being hit the hardest, we also decided to take a different avenue with our Christmas campaign. We launched ‘Christmas in a Box’. This offered families who were struggling with everything they needed for Christmas, from a full Christmas dinner and decorations to Christmas even pyjamas, and more. We managed to deliver over 50 boxes across the city
At the beginning of 2021, we had a focus on supporting our community with positive mental health. We noticed the need for some positive action to improve mental health, therefore we offered a number of things from mindfulness and yoga to engaging in daily conversation.
One of our most successful events during our mental health campaign was workouts posted to Instagram with a local personal trainer Amy Brett PT. During these workouts, we raised awareness of the importance of your physical health to improve your mental health.
We are currently still adapting to new regulations and preparing for the phased opening, beginning with our monthly football training and matches. We are excited to get everyone back together in the safest way possible. At the moment we are working on our Easter Egg Appeal and have been overwhelmed with the support, and are currently on target for our best ever collection.
Our CEO John Finnigan would like to say Thank You to all of our staff, volunteers, board members, and sponsors for the continued support during these difficult times. The past 12 months have been difficult for us all, however, we have all come together to adapt and deliver amazing work.