Running through all our programmes are three main goals: working to reduce isolation, developing skills to achieve and fostering better community cohesion.

1. Working to Reduce Isolation

The Need
Since we started working in the Anfield/Everton wards in 1999, the community has gone through various changes and yet consistently been one of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the UK (In a 2015 report, 83.3% of residents remain in the Most Deprived 10% nationally). Poverty brings many consequences and in our own consultation 85% of families said they felt isolated in their attempt to address challenges they were facing. Two groups are the most vulnerable to isolation – the elderly and recent immigrants can often feel very lonely and lack the confidence to venture out of their homes. As in other areas of North Liverpool, 67% of BME residents said they have experienced problems with integrating.

Our Unique Placing

Liverpool Lighthouse is uniquely placed to work with others to meet this challenge because:
Over the last 20 years Liverpool Lighthouse has become well-known in the area as a vibrant community hub. The staff and volunteers have demonstrated strong and consistent commitment to the community through the proven, diverse and enjoyable activities and courses offered, impacting all age ranges. There are opportunities to meet new people and lasting friendships are formed. Hope begins to rise again as they find their place in the community. We help to reduce isolation by:-

1. Involving 150 over-sixties in activities to reduce isolation and improve their quality of life including workshops on keeping warm, dance sessions and choirs for improving physical and mental health and well-being. Staff also make visits with hot meals during very bad winters.

2. Providing English classes for around 125 non-English speakers. The basic ability to communicate with men and women from other nations in a common language and with local residents is a game-changer for many.

3. Enabling greater integration between newcomers to the area and the host community. Recently we have completed an innovative pilot scheme together with the Red Cross bringing together family beneficiaries, senior citizens and asylum seekers and refugees. We provide joint activities including sports, singing, dancing and eating sessions with other beneficiary groups using our facilities.

In 2015 our project supporting vulnerable elderly received the Spirit of Merseyside Community Award sponsored by Community Foundation for Merseyside.

2. Developing Skills to Achieve

The Need
Worklessness in our Anfield/Everton community is at 28% versus a national average of 9%. Many people lack qualifications, vocational skills or work experience and so find it difficult to find employment. Many households are living on the breadline and 40% of children are in poverty situations. At the same time many families do not know how to manage the money they have and face hunger and a struggle to keep their homes. 89% of people we consulted want support to better manage their food and home energy budgets. Many young parents have not been shown positive models of parenting. With government cuts there are fewer opportunities for young people to engage with sporting or other activities, leading to a street gang culture.

Our Unique Placing

Liverpool Lighthouse is uniquely placed to meet respond to these challenges because we have

1. excellent and well equipped venue and facilities that has become a true centre for community activities, one that is accessed by thousands of people every year, making it easy for us to promote skills activities

2. experienced staff and a bank of facilitators that are able to deliver current thinking in skills acquisition

3. a track record of working with various groups over the last 20 years, taking thousands of people of all ages through acquisition of (i) employability skills, (ii) performing arts skills (iii) life skills for home management (iv) health & wellbeing related skills (v) Integrational skills such as proficiency in using the English language

4. great partner organisations we work with to ensure that we provide the best for our beneficiaries

5. we have placed more than 300 of our beneficiaries in paid employment over the last 20 years and have an average of 25 volunteers working for us at any one time, acquiring work place skills

Over the years, Liverpool Lighthouse has hosted Learndirect Centre, ICT Hub and is currently a Trinity College accredited Language Centre offering ESOL and advanced classes for non-English speakers who need to learn to speak it.

“They play a vital part in the regeneration of the Everton and Anfield area. They are a key partner in the stakeholders group” Councillor John McIntosh, Everton Ward Councillor

3. Fostering Community Cohesion
The Need
Challenges faced by our communities over many years included the following: (i) until recently hundreds of properties were compulsorily purchased as part of a housing renewal scheme after years of utter dereliction (ii) this led inevitably to properties being boarded up for years, becoming dens for drugs and other antisocial activities. (iii) Gangs of youth roamed the streets. Peddling of drugs would be regularly seen around street corners (iv) a number of high profile incidences such as murders, shootings and other crimes were reported (v) thrown into this mix has been the growing number of asylum seekers, refugees and economic migrants mostly less welcome in this part of the City and yet forced to live there because of cheaper levels of rent.

Our unique placing

Liverpool Lighthouse is uniquely placed to work with others to meet this challenge because:

1. We have a highly skilled multiracial organisation at all levels – governance, management, staff and volunteers

2. We have perhaps the best resourced building in the community, a fully refurbished former Gaumont Cinema building with excellent facilities

3. We have developed a range of successful projects that target different vulnerable groups including youth, over 60s, asylum seekers & refugees, families trapped in poverty, all under one roof using our building

We continue to work with others in our community and across the City to tackle this great challenge of fostering better community cohesion,

• bringing the young and old together in intergenerational activities
• providing opportunities for disabled to take part in activities with the fully abled
• running programmes that help new migrants to better integrate in the community and host community to better understand the new migrants
• bringing whole community together to participate in or enjoy high quality shows and events

Recognition
Received two annual awards from Merseyside Police for contributions towards reducing crime and antisocial behaviour in the community.