Community is a beautiful human construct. Yes, at times, it means dealing with people who are difficult and necessarily disentangling the ways in which various desires sometimes run in conflict with each other. But, at its most basic, the idea of community simply means that no one ever has to shoulder all of the burden. Liverpool FC’s Red Neighbour program hosted a group of Merseyside residents over the age of 50 at Anfield for some fun. The group got to enjoy a spot of cake, play a few games (bingo, of course, among them), and even took in a concert featuring a local singer.
This particular event is focused at raising awareness and directly curbing the effects of social isolation among the local senior community. Studies indicate that this issue - by-which people slowly withdraw from their known networks as they age - can affect significant portions of the elderly population. In the US, one report notes that it can affect up to 17% of the elderly population. It is an issue that literally leads people to begin to lead lives wherein they are completely alone.
LFC’s response to this issue, then, feel more personal. You’ll Never Walk Alone has always been touted as more than just an anthem; it is a way of life. A way of building community. Knowing that there are significant portions of the local community that may feel isolated from the others, Liverpool must see not only their potential role as a rallying force in the community, but also one that is predicated on an ethos of unified, communal solidarity.
It may seem like a soft PR moment, but for the folks present, it likely was a meaningful afternoon surrounded by people sharing in their common experiences. It was a time to bask in the joy of each other’s presence and to feel welcomed in the arms of a local institution that looms so large in the City’s identity. It was, then, a time to feel a little less alone in this world.