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Bev at the heart of Liverpool's volunteering effort

25 Jul 2020
Bev Phillips, Liverpool

Liverpool's fans service specialist explains how volunteering roles have kept her connected during lockdown while helping others

Bev Phillips is used to communicating with Liverpool supporters in her role as fans service specialist at Anfield, so when the COVID-19 pandemic took a grip, she felt compelled to stay connected with them.

The lifelong Reds supporter joined staff from across the club and volunteered as part of the "Unity is Strength" project to work with Liverpool's community programme, Red Neighbours, and the club's official charity, LFC Foundation.

Alongside making calls with LFC Connect, where she spoke to those most vulnerable and isolated within the local community, Bev ensured emergency food parcels reached those in need by helping at the North Liverpool Foodbank. 

And for someone who lives alone, the sense of staying connected throughout the past few challenging months has been vital.

"When you’re picking up food for these people it just makes you realise how lucky you are to have a job and be connected with Liverpool."

Bev Phillips, fan services specialist at Liverpool

"When lockdown first happened I was living in a flat by myself on the first floor and I felt hemmed in and cut off," she says.

"We got a really nice email from [Liverpool chief executive] Peter Moore. The club was looking for volunteers. I just felt compelled to do something. Just anything that I thought I could do to help, I wanted to."

Bev's volunteering opened her eyes to the struggles local people face on a daily basis, but she found it both rewarding and personally beneficial.

Mutually beneficial

"I was quite scared the first few weeks," explains Bev. "I was thinking, 'If anything happens to me, you're on your own,' so I was quite freaked out.

"It was just good to physically get out, to get in my car and to be able to drive somewhere and come back and feel I've done stuff to help people.

"And the same with the calls. It's not costing me anything, it's just a little bit of my time in the day. But that can make a huge difference to someone's day.

"It's helped me mentally get through my personal stories in lockdown and just living on your own, and feeling a little bit isolated.

"It puts things in perspective. It was great to be involved but there was an element of sadness to it as well. I saw a completely different side of how some people really have to manage day by day."

Wide-ranging support

Bev has also experienced first-hand the level of engagement and support the club and LFC Foundation have offered throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

"I didn't realise how much they actually do and all the different projects they were doing during lockdown," she adds.

"It's just made me realise sometimes you don't have to do a lot to make a big difference. Collectively, if everyone does their little it can make a huge difference."

More lockdown stories

See: Coronavirus, clubs and community

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