Location and general information

Location The Netherlands
Start date 05/01/2019
End date 04/30/2020
Cost of the project €100,000
Foundation funding €50,000
Project identifier EUR - 2018167
Partners Everton in the Community, Edge Hill University
Categories Access to Sport - Children with disabilities


Suicide is a global public health problem, with approximately 800,000 deaths from suicide each year. In 2017, there were 5,821 registered suicides in the UK, three-quarters of which were men (Office of National Statistics, 2017). Suicide is also the biggest killer of young people under the age of 20. Today, we know that 50% of all adult mental illnesses can be recognised before the age of 14 and 75% by age 18. This highlights the importance of prevention and early intervention.

The project focuses on helping children and young adults who have been identified as having a mental illness – or at risk of developing a mental illness – by means of physical activity, education and sport. Operating in England, the UEFA foundation funding will be used to expend the project in the Netherlands.

Project content

Everton in the Community (EitC) has successfully delivered community-based projects for three decades. Over the previous six years, working in partnership with Edge Hill University (EHU), a range of jointly designed, delivered and robustly evaluated projects have been developed. To share this success in other communities, EitC and EHU will provide a support service for a developing organisation that has similar objectives.

EitC and EHU will guide the organisation through a period of growth, including infrastructure development, so that it becomes sustainable and can deliver impactful community projects focusing on mental health and illness among children and young people. Physical activity and sport will be key components alongside the project evaluation.

This project will help with tackling the stigma associated with mental illness and help raise awareness of suicide.


  • Use the power of sport to motivate, educate and inspire young people
  • Help the ones facing the toughest challenges, including those that are hard to reach and hard to help
  • Provide life-changing opportunities, give a new start and opportunity to grow, develop and engage with the community

Project activities

Everton in the Community will visit the organisation to deliver this service and invite staff from the organisation to visit Everton in the Community located in England.

Over a 12-month period, the organisation will be supported in various capacity building and professional development activities and learn about project planning.

This will be delivered by Everton in the Community in partnership with Edge Hill University, which has six years’ experience delivering this model. Director Michael Salla and professor Andy Smith will lead the project from their respective organisations.

Expected results

  • This project will benefit more than 300 youngsters
  • Two capacity-building and knowledge-exchange conferences will be held, attracting over 50 delegates
  • A delivery model will be produced that disseminates best practice in using sport, physical activity and education to address mental health and illness in children and young people


Other projects in Europe

Football for all children
Miracoli FC a new vision of a football school. Together we create a community
Sport for Development
Amigos for Children – Visiting sick children in hospital