Leighton Baines says Everton have a "responsibility" to their fans and community as he opens up on what it means to be involved in the club's pioneering work.

The club have led the way during the coronavirus crisis by launching the Blue Family campaign which looks to help those at vulnerable or at risk during the pandemic.

Carlo Ancelotti and a number of Everton's players have made phone calls to fans, as well as former managers, as part of the work done under the new banner.

And now Baines has explained the importance of the Blues reaching out to the community in such times and why the players will never turn down the chance to help.

Carlo Ancelotti, Alex Iwobi, Leighton Baines and Tom Davies take part in the Everton in the Community event
Carlo Ancelotti, Alex Iwobi, Leighton Baines and Tom Davies take part in the Everton in the Community event

“What the football club means to people means we have the capacity to reach out and help them from there,” he told evertonfc.com.

“Whether that’s just cheering them up through a phone call in what could be difficult times, or providing them with a means of asking for support if they need it.

“The responsibility we have now as a football club to our fans and the community is so important."

Baines added: “Over time, I think doing work like this becomes more substantial because you age and mature, and start to really hone in on the ways you can help others.

“You look for that more and more and, as a group of players, we’re lucky that we’ve got that with Everton in the Community.

“It’s a two-way thing. It’s rewarding for us, too. You do good and you feel good.

"If you can do something to help others, you do get something back in return. That feeling never loses its appeal.”

Baines has spoke to a number of Evertonians in isolation and went onto say: “As a city, Liverpool is intimate compared to other places and as a football club that’s part of us, too,” he said.

“We reach out to the community and to the fans as much as possible because it’s their football club and we want to support them like they support us on a weekend.

Read More

Must-read Everton FC news

“When you join the Club, you are asked to do various community visits and as soon as you start to engage within that you realise how rewarding it is. It definitely opens your eyes up to the good things football can do.

“None of the players ever turn down these opportunities to get involved with Everton in the Community because you know the good it does.

“It’s become such a big part of the Football Club, what we’re known for and what we’re about.

“Being able to be a part of spreading that message, we’re very fortunate.”