Everton fans, staff and Under-23s players teamed up for a frosty sleep over at Goodison Park to support a homelessness charity.

Fifty  Everton supporters and 35 of the Under-23s squad and staff spent seven hours in sub-zero temperatures in the Park End stand on Friday night wrapped up in sleeping bags, to raise both awareness and money for those sleeping rough at this time of year.

The events was organised by Everton in the Community (EITC) who are well known for their work with the club and particularly for their role in raising money for the homeless. Fundraising Manager at EITC, Carena Duffy said: “We work with and support organisations here in Liverpool such as the Whitechapel Liverpool, Asylum Link and New Start who are all working direct with people who are living on the streets of Liverpool.

“We also host football sessions every week for homeless people. We wanted to raise the awareness especially at this time of year when the temperatures are below Celsius.

“EITC are currently in the process of launching a large scale fundraising campaign with U23 manager David Unsworth and his team of players which will be raising money to fund a project which will be supporting homeless children across Merseyside.”

Homelessness in the North West has reached an all-time high and Liverpool has played a large part in this rise. While the city has not seen increases as drastic as those in Manchester; since 2014, Liverpool has suffered an increase of 88 per cent in the numbers of homeless people. Liverpool currently has the third highest number of rough sleepers based on figures submitted annually by local authorities to the Department for Communities and Local Government

Everton players and fans sleepout at Goodison Park

Everton FC held a sleep out in March last year which was open to CEOs of organisations in the North West which was extremely successful.

However Duffy said: “This year we wanted to make it inclusive to fans as we knew it is an exclusive opportunity and we knew the fans would love the opportunity to sleep at Goodison.”

Once again the fundraiser was a success, reaching £7,000 on the night not including offline donations and sponsorships which will be totalled up over the coming six weeks.



Duffy said the event had been a “surreal”experience.

“I will definitely consider hosting this event again next year.”

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