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Everton Employee To Tackle Burpee Challenge In Aid Of The People’s Place

An Everton in the Community employee is set to take part in a 24-hour workout in aid of the charity’s proposed mental health facility The People’s Place and is channelling his personal experiences to inspire him to conquer the challenge.

Starting on Friday 29 May, EitC Prevent Area Coordinator Paul Semple will complete 100 burpees every hour for 24 hours, equating to a grand total of 2,400 burpees.

Obeying government guidelines and social distancing rules, Paul will aim to visit different parts of Liverpool to complete his challenge.


A burpee is a full body exercise which starts from a standing position and merges into a squat, then a plank, before returning to a standing position.

Paul’s motivations for completing the challenge include utilising exercise for positive mental wellbeing and putting the spotlight on the issue of mental health.

The People’s Place, a £1million facility to be built on Spellow Brick Lane close to Goodison Park, will provide an overarching service to anyone and promote positive mental health, as well as offering support related to suicide awareness and suicide prevention.


Ahead of his challenge, Paul spoke to evertonfc.com about his coping mechanisms after the sudden loss of his mother just over 12 months ago, and how he found strength through his peers and exercise.

“Exercise has always been a big thing for me but the importance of it has increased in the past 12 months, not just because of lockdown,” said Paul.

“It allows me to feel more balanced and helps relieve my stress. I decided to do a fundraiser using exercise to highlight the impact physical activity can have on people’s mental wellbeing, something Everton in the Community uses on a daily basis to support participants.

“Just over a year ago, I lost my mum suddenly. It hit me quite hard and I have struggled at times since. I wasn’t coping with my emotions and I didn’t feel like I could talk about how I felt. I thought my problems would be a burden on others but I also didn’t want any special treatment. Eventually, I did speak to my family and colleagues and they helped me a lot.

“I have seen first-hand the positive work that my colleagues across the charity do to support those most vulnerable, particularly those struggling with their mental health. I fully believe in the work that is done and I want to see it grow and reach more people. But I also want people to realise that it is ok to not be ok and it is important to speak out to family, friends or colleagues about how they are feeling.”

The pandemic and the lockdown procedures over the last two months have only increased the need for such a facility, with Public Health England reporting that, nationally, 53 per cent of people stated the effects of the lockdown had affected their wellbeing, while 84 per cent of people are anxious about the effect of coronavirus on their life.

The People’s Place will allow for a significant expansion of Everton in the Community’s already extensive mental health provision, with the primary focal point being a physical building, with additional layers of support designed to prevent the escalation of need, the reduction in waiting lists and increase the reach to vulnerable groups.

On the need for The People’s Place, Paul said: “Working for the charity has allowed me to come in to contact with some brilliant people, including staff, external partners, participants and their families. Promoting conversations about mental health can have a massive impact on an individual’s wellbeing and overall health.

“The People’s Place is designed to break down those barriers that people may feel are in place when it comes to talking about their own mental health. Without it, some may suffer in silence and their issues may escalate even further.”

He added: “Anybody who has ever done a burpee knows how difficult it is. It is an all-body exercise and can become tiring very quickly, and yet it is one of the most accessible exercises. I wanted to challenge myself but I also wanted to show how exercise can help anyone and maybe encourage people to get involved from home, no matter how many burpees they can do.

“I know it will help me during the challenge to have that support from others but will also increase participation in physical activity, which is a big plus.”

To donate to Paul’s cause and help him get through his 24-hour challenge, click here.

Want to get involved?

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