Gary McAllister paid a very special visit to Toxteth Fire Fit Hub as the Liverpool FC Foundation teamed up with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service to deliver new practical and educational activities to local youngsters.
Building on the success of the LFC Foundation’s Premier League Kicks programme, Kicks Football Plus is a new collaborative initiative between the club's official charity, the LFC Foundation, Premier League and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.
Through the use of football as an incentive, Kicks Football Plus will provide a range of practical and education activities to participants to help encourage personal growth and development.
To celebrate the launch of the new programme, club ambassador McAllister attended the preview event at the Toxteth Fire Fit Hub, which showcased some of the activities that Kicks Football + will be offering to local youngsters.
Free video: Gary McAllister supports LFC Foundation
Medical students from the charity, Street Doctors, gave guests an overview of the life-saving first aid sessions that they will be delivering and representatives from Young Addaction were also present to demonstrate their friendly and expert advice on drugs and alcohol for young people aged 10 to 17.
Kicks is the Premier League’s flagship community programme, and uses the power of football to bring communities together and engage hard to reach youngsters in constructive activities.
Since its launch in 2006, it has enabled thousands of young people to find routes into education, training and employment, whilst helping to reduce anti-social behaviour in the areas in which it is delivered.
Some of the sessions that will be delivered via Kicks Football Plus will include: emergency first aid, road safety, safe internet use, arson awareness and the dangers of knife crime.
The LFC Foundation has delivered a successful Kicks programme across Merseyside for many years and currently runs nine evening sessions every week across seven different sites, engaging with youngsters from the ages of 8-19 years.
Andrea Cooper, head of Liverpool FC Foundation, said: "I am delighted that we have renewed and extended our partnership with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. I believe that by working collaboratively we can reach out to and engage with many more youngsters in the most deprived areas across the city and help tackle the key issues."
"The Football Plus wraparound activities are what makes this initiative unique in terms of what is being delivered in addition to the Kicks programme’s coaching sessions and tournaments."
Gallery: Gary McAllister supports New Kicks Football Plus programme
Phil Garrigan, deputy chief fire officer for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, added: "Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service has a long and proud relationship with the LFC Foundation, where we have worked together to bring opportunities to young people from underprivileged backgrounds across Merseyside.
"Through diversionary events and workshops we have sought to engage young people to reduce their chances of succumbing to fire-related antisocial behaviour, either as perpetrators or victims, and to help build safer, stronger communities.
"We are delighted to be part of the Kicks Programme to encourage young people to build confidence, develop life skills, grow their self-esteem and hopefully progress towards further education or employment."