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 £8 million 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 oversee 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.