John Dumbell, Team Leader writes:
‘The recent Summer Fair was a fantastic day, and once again we were blessed with the weather. We had a great line up of musicians topped by ex Shewsy member and extremely talented John O’Connell.
‘It felt like the whole community and beyond were there on a lovely sunny day. I spoke to people from Huyton, Garston and Dingle alone on the day. Once again some junior club parents got involved by supplying a cultural food stall with tasters free of charge.
‘I would like to thank everyone who helped out on the day for their continued support and also two ex members in particular who like to shy away from the praise they deserve. Big thanks to both Damien Cummings and Altrad for arranging for the stage to be erected and Stuart Dennett for once again kindly donating the food for the BBQ.’
‘Everton has one of the highest levels of deprivation in the UK and in many instances there are generations of families who have never been legitimately employed’ writes Team leader John Dumbell.
‘The Early Intervention Youth Fund (EIYF) programme is largely based around confidence and decision making using moral dilemmas as tools to provoke thought and mimic real life situations and the pressures and emotions felt by the decisions made. The feedback from the initial cohort of young people was really positive and all of the group have remained engaged in activities provided at the club since their completion of the programme.
‘There has been an increase in confidence from the group as a whole and some real individual progress too. This has been measured throughout the course as has the young peoples attendances at School. One of the main risk factors for this group is their attendance, and with this in mind we held the programme on a Friday with the understanding that in order to attend Fridays they had to attend for the remainder of the week. This seemed to have a positive impact on their attendance as 11 out the 12 attended every session.
‘As a result of the funding received by the EIYF, this has enabled us to take on 2 additional full time members of staff to work on the programme. Once again, we are working in close partnership with the local police and this time we have identified a group of 12 young Shewsy members who attend Everton free school and have all had previous dealings with the police, many of whom have already signed ABC’s (acceptable behaviour contracts). The additional funding has also allowed us to open up on a Friday evening. This has seen an additional 185 individuals engaged regularly on a Friday evening many of whom have now become regular users of the centre during regular youth club sessions.
‘The feedback we have had for the Friday evenings has all been positive both from local businesses to the local police informing us that there has been a significant drop in anti-social behaviour calls around the area.
‘The additional activities offered has seen our membership rise to the highest we have had in my 15 years here averaging between 50-70 young people per session aged between 11-19.’
The club has teamed up with Everton and Liverpool football clubs and the Princes Trust to apply to Government for a share of their Serious Violent Crime strategy’s Early Intervention Youth Fund. In March 2019, we heard that the Home Office had agreed to fund our joint bid.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “Reaching young people before they are targeted by more sophisticated individuals who draw them into a dangerous, criminal lifestyle is essential if we are to break the cycle of gang-related violence in our communities. I was really pleased to be able to work with these four really effective organisations and I’m delighted that the Home Office has recognised the importance of this project by allocating £700,000. With this money, we can work in the most troubled communities to target the young people most at risk of harm, building their confidence, equipping them with new skills and encouraging them to strive for a brighter future.”
The initial Early Intervention Youth Fund course, entitled “That’s Life” with 12 participants finished in June and was a huge success. Young people were selected according to a range of risk factors such as:
• Disengaged from education
• Poor attendance
• Risk of exclusion
• Convicted of an offence/at risk off offending or have a close family member who has been convicted
The programme sought to reduce these and bolster the protective factors that can keep them on safer paths. The feedback we have received from the police and Notre dame school has been really positive.
The Home office has approached us to discuss further funding as part of their reducing Serious Violence strategy and we have a verbal agreement of an additional £24,975 to pay for our senior club sessions and some additional staff from now until March 2020. A further meeting is set for October with the aim of putting together a plan to securing a further 5 years’ worth of Home Office funding.
The second course is underway.
We have started on a new project in our Archives group titled ‘Shrewsbury House – The Football Story’. We are trying to gather as much material as possible that tells the story of the club’s football since 1903. We haven’t managed to get quite that far back but we do have a photo of a club football team in 1907!
We’re not quite sure whether this turns into a book or what at this stage, but we have an impressive collection of records, words and pictures already. Below are a couple of extracts.
|1949/51||PJ||Match report v St Marys|
|1950||See photos PJ||Team listed on photo||Billy Jones on National Service reports from abroad in a letter and includes a match report|
|1951||PJ||Match report v Florence Institute|
|1954||O.Boys||Finalists of Houston cup||George Marsden||Full team list available via G.M. Played at Anfield in front of c 600|
Both Chris and Billy Lloyd, who later famously signed for Tranmere Rovers, could write a book about the Shewsy, remembering stories like old Billy Dalrymple, the storekeeper who predated Alf in the mid 1960’s, and his dishing out the footy gym kit and of course the ex-army issue brown pumps. “You were lucky to get two pumps the same size with laces and no holes before kicking off in top gym” says Billy Lloyd.
There were success stories – winning the first ICI regional 7 a side tournament in Widnes – team: Arthur Rawlings, Chris Gallagher, big Billy Jones, Arthur Towers, Ian McElwee, Davie Hunt, Stan Coleman, all Shewsy stalwarts in their day.
As a way of welcoming new people into our community, the Shewsy, along with St. Peters church, arranged a Know your Neighbour event at the club on Saturday 20th April 2018.
In the 10 weeks leading up to the day, volunteer Lisa Dumbell facilitated a world foods cookery programme – getting traditional recipes from new residents’ native countries and attempting to cook them with senior club members (funded by Warburton’s). Some of the dishes included were from countries such as Libya, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Turkey and India.
Upon inviting old/new residents to the event, we also gave them the opportunity to prepare a dish traditional to their country of origin. We also provided the money to cover the cost of the meals so there would be no financial strain on the participants. This was funded by a grant received from LCVS.
The aim of the project was to promote community cohesion by making people feel welcome in the Everton community, and what better way to get people together than their love of food. We have found that people are proud of their roots and are more than happy to display their cultural heritage through food.
During the day we had many new residents turn up with their families, proudly introducing the dish they had provided – all of which were delicious and thoroughly enjoyed by all. There were 15 different countries represented throughout the day with dishes provided from each and recipes shared amongst newly found friends. The countries were Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iraq, Poland, Syria, Yemen, Czech Republic, Hungary, Zimbabwe, Morocco, West Africa, Morocco, Iran and England.
We were fortunate enough to also be blessed with beautiful weather so were able to make full use of the neighbouring Everton Park Nature Garden (which many of the residents had been curious about as it is gated and used mainly for supervised groups). This was an extremely popular choice amongst attendees who loved the natural beauty of the place.
The event was due to end at 2pm but people were having such a great time the vast majority left later and carried the day on in the local park just across the road from the centre, where the children played in the sun and the parents stayed and chatted amongst themselves.
We have since received really positive feedback from the public about the event and are hoping to make this happen more often, with the next date provisionally set for our annual Summer Fair on the 23rd June.
“Sharing a meal is a simple, yet sacred occasion. It is a universal act that is important to building relationships within people groups. Intentionally eating together creates time and space to engage in the spiritual and intellectual levels that are unique to human beings. Sharing food cultivates community because the implications of the meal extend beyond the time of eating together. While there are other places people meet, gathering around a meal is the most accessible because if nothing else, everyone must eat.” Katz, R, 2012