Author Archives: Lauren Cholmondeley

Historic Hat-trick

Blackpool’s 1969/70 season penultimate game saw them play rivals, Preston North End, at Deepdale. The ‘pool team knew that a victory would return them to the First Division. The away side did not disappoint, forward Fred Pickering netted all three goals to take ‘The Seasiders’ up, sending North End to Division Three.

A stalwart of the promotion winning team from 51 years ago was Dave Hatton, with 251 league appearances and seven goals during his seven years at Bloomfield Road. Former defender, Hatton, recently recalled the euphoric evening at Deepdale “There was always a real rivalry about playing Preston, we felt we could beat them, but it was always tight. There was a full house making lots of noise, but we didn’t give anything away. Pickering got the first goal after 16 minutes, easing the tension slightly. We seemed to get more of the ball and Pickering got another one. It was 2–0 at half time, they had to come at us. We never really felt as a defence that they could do it and we had it sussed out already. As the game progressed, they made more mistakes and then Pickering got the third goal, it was game over. We finished up easy winners at 3-0.”

After the euphoric win at Preston and celebratory beers in the changing room, the team returned for further revelry at The Lemon Tree, Squires Gate. Hatton remembered late evening, “The club booked us a meal there for about 11 o’clock. We were all together at a big, long table but what time I got home I don’t know!” It proved a highly enjoyable night of celebration for the Blackpool staff and players. Promotion had been attained with one league game to spare. The visit to Oxford United five days later proved to be anti-climactic when Blackpool were defeated 2–0. 

Hatton recounted his teammates from the promotion winning side with considerable fondness, “When I moved here, Bill Bentley lived on the same estate, and we became very good friends. He was a good player with a great left peg on him. Jim Armfield was the nicest fellow, always a gentleman and a quick fullback. Tommy Hutchison was a nightmare to play against in training, I always thought he was brilliant, and he was great at beating players. Hutchison could hold onto the ball, you couldn’t get it off him, but his crosses weren’t the best and he didn’t score a lot of goals, but he would always be in my side.”

45 years after Hatton departed Blackpool for Bury, his affection for the tangerine team remains undiminished. He continues to reside on the Fylde Coast and enjoys visits to Bloomfield Road to watch the current team in action. Hatton remains proud of the part he played in helping his adopted town’s team gain promotion. The victorious evening in Preston five decades ago when two headed goals and a tap into complete Pickering’s hat-trick are key moments in ‘The Seasiders’ history. It proved to be a highly successful debut season for Hatton who remains a modest and highly likeable Boltonian.

The FPA is currently being re-established in the wake of new Club ownership and the lifting of lockdown restrictions.  The association will receive not only the full support of Blackpool Football Club, it will work closely with the various departments within it.

It is the intention to make the former players feel very much part of the Club’s history and its future. There will be opportunities for social gatherings both on match days and other arranged events such as golf days and bi – monthly meetings. The FPA will also be a key organiser and supporter of local charity events as well as giving assistance to former Blackpool players where it is required. 

The association is very keen to recruit new members and is free to join. Application forms and further details can be obtained from John Cross by email johndcross53@gmail.com or phone 07984 940879.

While you are here

Community Cohesion: One Year On

We have now delivered our Community Cohesion strand for over one year and during this time the team has made a huge impact on the lives of young people across Blackpool. We caught up with Brett, Community Cohesion Manager, to see how the last year has been.

How has the last year been?

The pandemic has provided a challenge for everyone and has meant that programmes and staff have had to adapt their delivery in order to continue supporting people. Due to the targeted and one-to-one nature of the work within Community Cohesion, we have been one of the luckier teams as government guidelines have allowed us to continue with our normal delivery. However, some of our sessions moved online when young people were isolating, or parents didn’t feel comfortable leaving the house during periods of lockdown. The pandemic has allowed us to improve our knowledge of online delivery and provided us with new ways to engage with people, most notably via games consoles such as XBOX and PlayStation where staff can now deliver mentoring sessions online whilst playing sports-based games such as FIFA against participants.

What has been your proudest moment so far?

The proudest part of my role is seeing how passionate the team are about supporting their participants. They are genuinely invested in improving lives and achieving positive outcomes for those they work with. Staff are visibly excited and proud when a young person or an adult achieves one of their goals and/or access positive pathways. For example, we have had participants join grassroots football clubs, gain employment and complete qualifications.

Recently, some of our young people who have completed the Tower Above programme were rewarded for their hard work and commitment and taken to their first ever Blackpool FC game by members of the team. The smiles on their faces and the feedback we got from parents was fantastic and further highlights the amazing work the team and wider Trust do, connecting people with the club and providing them with positive experiences and memories for life. Some of our participants and their families have now purchased season tickets as a result of their affiliation with the Trust and how much they have enjoyed working with us.

How has Cohesion expanded?

The Community Cohesion strand has expanded greatly over the year, despite a global pandemic, we have employed more staff within the team and added more programmes to our portfolio. We now have a wide range of programmes that support both young people and adults with a key focus on crime prevention and reduction (see previous page). Our most recent venture, Project ADDER, has allowed us to work alongside a variety of partners involved in the town-wide project, to play our part in supporting people at risk of drug related deaths. This has allowed us to add another level of expertise within the team by employing specialist staff with an experience of working within this field and strengthening the knowledge and experience across the Community Cohesion team.

What are your aims for the future?

We aim to continue delivering our programmes to a high standard, ensuring that we can evidence the great work that is taking place, therefore sustaining the work long term. One of our main aims across all of the Cohesion programmes is to support people to access positive pathways, rather than the programme coming to an end with no next steps or plan in place for the individual. We are really lucky at the Trust to have so many wonderful programmes/exit routes to support people to transition into i.e. Traineeship, Kicks, Get Set 2 Go, BTEC, Degree and NCS, to name a few. By engaging with one or more of these, participants can continue to put into practice the positive changes they have made on our programmes. We have also formed some great links with external community providers such as local grassroots clubs, youth clubs and volunteering groups, where we have then been able to facilitate introductions for our participants to join/attend. In the future, we hope to see more of this taking place with more people completing our programmes, sustaining a positive change in their behaviour and going on to access other provision. 

Any ‘thankyou’s’?

I would like to thank all of the wonderful partners that we work alongside who have supported myself, the team and all of the participants we’ve worked with. As a team, we place great emphasis on partnership working and by working in this way we have been able to achieve some fantastic outcomes for a variety of young people and adults across the range of programmes we deliver.

Finally, a huge thankyou to my amazing team who make a difference to the lives of young people and adults in Blackpool on a daily basis. Without their hard work and professionalism, the programmes would not be as successful as they have been so far. Long may this brilliant work continue!

Quotes from our community who have benefited from community cohesion provision:

He’s like a different boy. I don’t know what you have said to him, but it seems to have really worked” – Tower Above parent

“It has given X life choices and prepared him for making the right choices throughout his life” – School SENCO.

“X has maintained making the right choices and will finish the year on a positive note – School SENCO.

“He can actually have a conversation with adults now which he couldn’t really do before. It’s made him more sociable, kinder and he’s standing up to his issues and dealing with them” – Tower Above parent

“Thank you so much for helping me get homed, I really appreciate it. I’m really interested in doing some boxing in the future” – DIVERT participant

“I have woke up excited instead of feeling annoyed and excited” – Tower Above young person

>> For more information about Community Cohesion <<

Class of the term: Unstoppable

What is Unstoppable?

Unstoppable is a Year 6 PSHE programme tackling age appropriate, relevant issues such as gang culture and knife crime, healthy relationships in and out of the home, resilience, emotional well-being, and transition. The programme is executed using a fictional novel of the same name, written by decorated author Dan Freedman.

Unstoppable is a six-week project that asks the class to read to a certain part in the book and then a Blackpool FC Community Trust tutor delivers an hour lesson, on a weekly basis, using the story lines and characters from the book. As part of the programme, each child is provided with a copy of the novel and a workbook to keep. Over the academic year, the programme is offered to all Year 6 children with approximately 1700 children taking part.   

Congratulations to STANLEY PRIMARY SCHOOL

Over the last six weeks Stanley Primary School has taken part in Blackpool FC Community Trust’s PSHE programme Unstoppable. Throughout the Autumn term the children of Stanley have stood out as excellent participants, not only for their behavior but also their understanding of the book and the programme. The behaviour of the children has been amazing, as all the children have shown extremely high levels of respect and exceptional manners during each of the sessions. Their level of maturity was shown through the discussions held both between themselves and feeding back to the class and tutors.  The children were clearly engaged and focused on the lessons; they were able to debate their own opinions respectfully and take on board others’ points of view. 

Furthermore, the classes were able to follow the pace of the programme delivery, by reading to set learning breaks throughout the whole programme. The children displayed an understanding of the deeper meanings of the story and how they would feel if they were in any of the characters’ positions. The children have been able to have extremely mature conversations regarding some of the sensitive topics which are covered within the story. Even though these topics, including grief, friendships and gangs, were hard for some to talk about, with guidance from the BFCCT tutor, all engaged in the conversations and had a mature outlook on the scenarios.  

The engagement of the children was shown through their quiz results, with 78% of children showing an improvement in the knowledge and understanding of PSHE related questions. 100% of the teachers rated the engagement of the children as excellent, and also stated that the English lessons were supported through the delivery of Unstoppable. 

The children have been able to highlight the reasons why the characters are acting in certain ways but then also relate this to their real lives and knew what was appropriate and inappropriate when looking at different relationships, friendships, and interactions with people in their lives. 

Some of the children completed a small focus group with the staff to discuss the programme and what they have enjoyed about both the story and the lessons. All the quotes below were taken from this focus group (clearly highlighting that children focused on different concepts):

It’s (the programme) has helped me to be a bit better because I used to be a bit naughty and that and I used to get really angry and moody, and now I’ve changed and I’m not really as moody as I don’t really get as angry, and I have become calmer”

“Learning that just because she (Roxy) is in a wheelchair, she is still the same person and can do the same things as she was before”

“I know if someone came up to me and offered me something dangerous, I would say no and go home and tell my mum straight away”

“Helped me see how things can change and deal with them in my real life like going to high school is next year and I’m very sad”

Their teachers also noted that: 

“The programme was even able to engage children who aren’t keen on reading as the story is so exciting to them, they are asking to read it”

“Some very mature conversations have been brought out from this”

Unstoppable Class of the Term Reward:

Due to the enthusiasm and mature attitudes of the children, the Stanley classes were awarded the Unstoppable Class of the Term and as a reward, Dan Freedman hosted a question-and-answer session for all the pupils that had taken part in the programme. Dan gave the children a brief introduction into how he became an author and then the children proceeded to ask questions. 

Dan Freedman noted that:

“Their questions were absolutely fantastic – some of the most fresh and fun I’ve been asked. I was incredibly moved and proud to see how they had connected with the story and characters of Unstoppable.”

“I’m delighted that the book is in the safe hands of BFCCT to use it as a platform for really important conversations with young people and it was clear today that the pupils had put some very deep thought into those subjects and issues.”

When asked what they thought of the event, the children said:

“It was a lot of fun to talk to Dan and find out what made him want to write the story”

“I am really excited to see if the book does become a TV show”

“He has inspired me to think about reading and writing more as I think I would like to be an author”

The teachers were extremely positive regarding the event: 

“The children have been looking forward to this for the past few weeks”

“He was fantastic with the students, and you could tell they were all engaged”

Well done Stanley Primary School, the Unstoppable team have thoroughly enjoyed working with the children and hope to continue to do so in the future. 

Each term The Unstoppable team will be choosing a class to receive a reward. The class will be chosen based upon the enthusiasm, engagement and behaviour of the children. As we have 30 schools receiving the Unstoppable programme this academic year, the competition may be tough.  

Blackpool VS PNE – Events

Ahead of the big game this weekend, we are delighted to share with you two events that we have scheduled for next week that will look back at the famous Blackpool v PNE fixture. We can’t confirm who it will be, but we will also have a special guest at each event to answer a few questions. 

These events will both take place at Bloomfield Road in the Education & Community Centre (former ticket office) and will be free to attend, although booking is essential and places are limited.

Tuesday 26th October, 6-7.30pm BOOK NOW

Friday 29th October 1-3pm BOOK NOW

Please feel free to share with anyone who you think would benefit or enjoy attending or email info@bfcct.co.uk for more information

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EFL Kids Cup 2021

On Monday 11th October, Blackpool FC Community Trust hosted our annual primary school EFL Trust Kids Cup tournament. The event took place on the fantastic 3G pitches at Stanley Park and was attended by 99 pupils from 13 schools across Blackpool.

The EFL Trust Kids Cup is an invitation event, open to all schools in the Blackpool area, to play in a competitive 6 a side football tournament against other Blackpool schools. For the first time in two years, children were able to get back to some normality and test their football abilities against other schools. 

Schools turned up early on the crisp Autumn morning to prepare themselves for the six games that (if successful) would give them a chance to play in the EFL Kids Cup Final on the pitch at Bloomfield Road, home of Blackpool FC. Winners of that final will then be given a Blackpool FC Kit and go on to represent Blackpool FC Community Trust in the north regional leg of the competition, playing against schools that have won similar events in their local area.

This year we had two groups, the top two teams from each group would go on to play semi-finals with the two winners of those games proceeding to Bloomfield Road for the final.

In the group stages we saw 80 goals scored across all games with an amazing 37 clean sheets kept by the goalkeepers. The semi-final fixtures saw St Nicholas C of E Primary School top of Group A and Norbreck Primary Academy in second. Top of Group B was Boundary Primary School, and second place was Moor Park Primary School

Two semi-finals saw Boundary vs Norbreck and St Nicholas vs Moor Park, where 11 goals were scored across the two games. After some fantastic team and individual performances Norbreck and St Nicholas come out victors and will meet in a November at Bloomfield Road.

After a great competition and a platform to showcase the footballing talent Blackpool primary schools have to offer, from both the boys and the girls, we now wait for the final to see who will represent Blackpool FC Community Trust further in the competition.

Well done to everyone who took part!  

World Mental Health Awareness Day: Meet Sue

Meet Sue, she attends our Every Player Counts football sessions funded by EFL Trust and Wembley National Stadium Trust.

As it’s World Mental Health Day, 10th October 2021, Sue wanted to share some of her story.

Sue, prior to engaging with us, would spend most of her days at home being inactive which, amongst other things, impacted her mental health. She first started to engage with us in 2016. A Community Trust staff member who was at the session she initially attended, supported her whilst at the session and also helped her to find and attend talking therapy sessions in conjunction with attending our football programme.

She has now been engaging with us for five years and says, “if it wasn’t for the football sessions the Community Trust provide, I’d probably be sat at home, bored, doing nothing, not feeling good mentally.”

We asked her what she enjoys about coming to the Get Set to Go football sessions and she said, “The support of the Community Trust staff is great. They take time to listen to me if I need to speak to them about anything. I’ve also made a lot of friends at the session. I remember when I first came, Rob (another participant who still attends) encouraged me and made me feel very welcome.”

Paul, the Community Engagement Team Leader, who delivers on the session Sue attends said, “Sue has always been open with the staff about her mental health. She has said to me how past and present staff, and the Community Trust in general, have always been supportive of her. She is one of our most regular attendees and it’s a pleasure having her attend. 

“Knowing Sue and from what we discuss sometimes, I know how important our community sessions are to her and all the participants we engage.  The funding we receive from EFL Trust and Wembley National Stadium Trust plays an important part in helping our participants mental health. Other participants have expressed similar statements to Sue, about not knowing what they would do with themselves if they couldn’t attend the football sessions we deliver and how it helps them to get out of the house and see friends”. 

If you would like to join us at our FREE football sessions please email info@bfcct.co.uk or call 01253 348 691 for more information.

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Community Engagement Officer (Armed Forces)

An exciting opportunity has arisen for someone to join Blackpool FC Community Trust (BFCCT) as part of the Community Engagement team to plan and deliver a range of programmes for the Armed Forces community. This will involve delivering and supporting physical activity and social groups for individuals with links to the armed forces. As part of the scheme of work, you will be required to work at least one evening per week, but never more than two, which typically will be between Monday and Friday. The post holder will be responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the work are delivered to a high standard so that the experience for each participant is as positive and rewarding as it can be. The post holder will also be responsible for accurately recording and inputting all data aspects relating to this area of work, using similar applications to Joint Personnel Administration (JPA).

Blackpool FC Community Trust is the official charity of Blackpool FC, based at Bloomfield Road Stadium. Working with residents as young as 2 years old up to adults in the later stages of life, BFCCT provide a diverse range of programmes to increase social inclusion opportunities; improve physical fitness, health and education; and lessen involvement in anti-social behaviour.

In recent years the Trust has grown significantly and has become an established organisation, providing something for everybody, that every Blackpool FC fan and resident should be involved in and very proud of.

How To Apply

Please download an application form  or email dave.maclean@bfcct.co.uk for an application form. 

Once completed please send your application to dave.maclean@bfcct.co.uk or post it to Blackpool FC Community Trust, F.A.O. Dave Maclean, Community Engagement Manager, Bloomfield Road Stadium, Seasiders Way, Blackpool. FY1 6JJ.

Closing Date: Friday 29th October 2021, 5pm

This job will be subject to satisfactory references and enhanced DBS procedures. We encourage early applicants as we reserve the right to close the application process at any time. 

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‘Check Out’ our new partnership with Morrisons

Blackpool FC Community Trust have recently prospered from a flourishing relationship with Morrisons, whose generous donations are helping to improve the quality of life for many young people around the town. 

Conversations initially took place between Charlotte, the community champion from Blackpool Morrisons and the Community Programmes team at Blackpool FC Community Trust.  Together, we discussed more about the activities we run and the people we engage with to see if there was a way to add any value to our community projects. 

Community Youth Sport Manager Adam Aspinall said of Morrisons’ initial experiences with the Community Trust, “Charlotte first came down to our Premier League Kicks and Get Set to Go sessions to get a feel for the Community Trust and what we are about. These sessions are primarily aimed at working with people from hard-to-reach backgrounds in places of high deprivation, and Charlotte quickly realised that some of these young people could benefit from what Morrisons could offer. We then agreed that Charlotte would begin attending our PL Kicks sessions in the Claremont area where she began to bring boxes of free fruit and water for participants to enjoy as an added benefit of attending sessions”.

Throughout September we had 300 + children attend our PL Kicks sessions.

In addition to being able to offer this to PL Kicks participants at Claremont, Morrisons have also delivered numerous boxes of equipment which will be used over the coming months as part of various different Community Trust projects. This consisted of Rugby balls, toys, children’s games, boomerangs, stationary and various other goodies that young people will now be able to benefit from when engaging in programmes delivered by Blackpool FC Community Trust. These will be given out as awards for attendance and behaviour, as well as donated to young people deemed most at need. 

Speaking on behalf of Morrisons Charlotte, the community champion for Blackpool Morrisons, went into more detail on what they do and why. 

As we all know the poverty in Blackpool is extremely high. The number of people using food banks in Blackpool has tripled since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The UK unemployment rate has risen 5%, and domestic abuse in Blackpool is estimated to be nearly four times the national average during the pandemic. At Morrisons Blackpool we wanted to play our part in overcoming these issues and helping our community. We reached out to Blackpool FC Community Trust after realising the amazing work they do engaging and supporting individuals of all ages in sport and transforming their lives for the better. As we all know, sport has many benefits from self-confidence/esteem, maintaining healthy body weight, stress, sleep, social connections, depression, and other forms of mental illness. So, at Morrisons we wanted to support BFCCT. We have created a campaign called BOOTSFORBETTERFUTURES, where the public can donate pre-loved kits, boots, and other sports equipment in store by putting them in our donations station located behind the tills, we clean these donations up and distribute them to the Community Trust.

 At Morrisons Blackpool we ourselves also donate towards the sessions BFCCT run, through toys for children using them as prizes, sporting equipment, food hampers on request for families who may be struggling, and fruit & water to their popular ‘Kicks’ sessions. Blackpool FC Community Trust covers a wide spectrum when supporting our community from schooling & education, to organised ‘talks’ to decrease isolation, weight management programmes, armed forces programmes and many more. However, I myself imagine a pie chart where Morrisons can help fill a gap for BFCCT, that being; food supplies, and shop floor items, and having a greater, more positive impact on our community.

For more information about Blackpool FC Community Trust; Follow BFCCT on social media, visit: www.bfcct.co.uk, call 01253 348 691 or email: info@bfcct.co.uk

We hope to see you, your family and friends at a session soon. 

Postcode Neighbourhood Trust enable our community to Pool Together

In January 2021, we were awarded funding from the Postcode Neighbourhood Trust to allow us to begin delivering our referral programme, POOL Together.

This programme is aimed at people who are experiencing poor mental health, which is predominantly caused by social isolation. This was a direct response to the pandemic, however we soon discovered that many of the people who we engaged with were lonely and isolated before the pandemic, and the social restrictions simply made this worse. This was where we were able to step in and deliver welfare calls and visits. From these calls, we were then able to offer people the opportunity to join in with our activities, which were online to begin with but soon returned to face-to-face. This allowed people to get out of the house and meet people, which for many people was something that hadn’t happened in a long while. One of the other really nice things that happened, was that friendships were formed online, meaning that when people returned to face to face, they were then able to meet up with their new friends for the first time.

A good example of this involved a couple who had been referred to us by Age UK for our Armed Forces offer, as one of them had served. The partner though, was living with dementia, but was a keen sports fan. We were then able to signpost and support the sports fan to our Sporting Memories session, which they absolutely loved. This also had a positive impact on the partner, as it not only gave them some respite, but it was clear how much they enjoyed attending the session. The couple have subsequently gone on to join other groups, and it has been wonderful to be a part of.

Thanks to this work, we now know that this programme works, and has made a huge difference to the people we work with, and the town of Blackpool as a whole. We could not have done this work without the support of our funders, Postcode Neighbourhood Trust, and we are immensely grateful. 

The Postcode Neighbourhood Trust is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Our organisation received £20,000 from the Trust to deliver POOL Together 

To learn more about the Postcode Neighbourhood Trust, visit their website www.postcodeneighbourhoodtrust.org.uk and People’s Postcode Lottery www.postcodelottery.co.uk

October Is Here

October – Can you believe it?!

This month we will be running all our regular sessions from Walking Football and PL Kicks to Tiny Tangerines and Armed Forces Football, plus more!

BOO! We also have our Halloween Sports Camps & Stars Inclusion Camp running 25th – 29th.

Did you know we are now delivering most of our social groups face to face, so that means our Sporting Memories, Extra Time and NAAFI Coffee mornings are all up and running throughout the week.

This week we are also launching our Fit Blackpool in the Community sessions which are a daytime alternative to our very popular FIT BLACKPOOL free weight management sessions.

Hopefully we will see you, your family and friends at sessions this month. Don’t forget to tag us or share if you do!