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21st Oct 2019
Everton stars Morgan Schneiderlin and Jonas Lossl visited Alder Hey Children’s Hospital earlier this week to find out more about the play therapy sessions that Everton in the Community deliver on the wards.
The Blues duo joined Everton in the Community’s Disability Coach Mark Dolan on his daily rounds at one of Europe’s busiest children’s hospital where the Club’s official charity have been delivering play therapy sessions for children recovering in hospital for more than 10 years.
Schneiderlin and Lossl accompanied Dolan as he made his way around Ward 4A and 4C with a trolley full of toys and games, all designed to provide fun activity, interaction and support for children and their siblings and it wasn’t long before they were bringing smiles to the faces of patients with games of Uno, coordination games and a spot of drawing.
Speaking after the visit, the Blues midfielder Schneiderlin said:
“We have had a really fun day with the children and played some card games and board games with them. It was beautiful to interact with them and spend a few moments with them because they have been through a difficult time. It just puts reality into perspective and when we can help others it is the best thing we can do in our job.”
The visit to Alder Hey was summer signing Lossl’s first trip to the children’s hospital and he added:
“To see the work that everyone does here is incredible. It is fantastic to come here and just feel the presence that a lot of people have here to bring a smile to the kids’ faces – it’s really nice to be a part of that.”
In June 2018, Everton in the Community’s disability programme were awarded a three-year grant of £89,823 from BBC Children in Need which has helped to support the charity’s work in providing football and sporting activities to disabled children across Merseyside, giving them the same opportunities as their non-disabled peers.
The funding received by BBC Children in Need also helps to part-fund Everton in the Community’s daily play therapy sessions in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Staff from the Club’s official charity currently work in Alder Hey five days a week, engaging with around 100 children a month with the sessions also providing light relief to parents and siblings during a difficult time.
Reflecting on BBC Children in Need’s support of Everton in the Community’s work, Disability Coach Mark Dolan said:
“Children in Need fund us to be able to deliver this work so it’s massive to us – without them we wouldn’t be able to come in and do this all the time. The funding helps go towards some of the equipment, it helps goes towards the coaches’ time and it is a massive and a vital part of our programme so we can’t thank them enough.”
Everton in the Community’s work in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is just one element of how the charity works closely with BBC Children in Need. They also partner on the Premier League Kicks social inclusion programme, which sees coaches engage young people across Merseyside in positive sports activities and workshops, supporting them to build more positive behaviours and attitudes and contribute to stronger and safer communities.
Everton Football Club and its official charity Everton in the Community has joined forces with BBC Children in Need and the Premier League to dedicate the its fixture against West Ham United on Saturday 19 October to raising awareness of Children in Need’s work to ensure that every child in the UK has a childhood which is safe, happy, secure and allows them the chance to reach their potential.
BBC Children in Need is currently supporting over 3,000 local charities and projects in communities across the UK that are helping children and young people facing a range of disadvantages such as living in poverty, being disabled or ill, or experiencing distress, neglect or trauma. In the last year alone, BBC Children in Need has been able to make a positive difference to 600,000 young lives in communities the length and breadth of the UK.
Alder Hey Children's Charity