Category Archives: Latest News

Premier League Charitable Fund: 10 Year Anniversary Awards

This week, the Premier League is celebrating the incredible impact of football clubs in their local communities as the Premier League Charitable fund marks its 10 year anniversary.

The Premier League provides investment and long-term support to help clubs create lasting change within communities.

An awards programme will see clubs recognise the achievements of individuals who have made a positive different in their community over the past decade.

Premier League Primary Stars – Facilitator Winner

JACK KING

Jack started his journey with Blackpool FC Community Trust on the BTEC Education programme and then progressed onto the Degree. Throughout that period Jack showed a very keen interest in the PL Primary Stars programme and always aspired to become a part of the team at BFCCT delivering the programme.

Throughout his studies, Jack found time to volunteer on the provision and completed significant hours and qualifications to equip him for the role for the future.

Following his graduation in 2019, Jack was awarded a full time role with the Community Trust and is now a Physical Education Officer with Blackpool FC Community Trust delivering the programme in local primary schools.

Whilst Jack hasn’t had to overcome considerable adversity to get his targeted role, he showed unbelievable commitment and dedication to finding his path and engaging in the work he loves.

Premier League Primary Stars – Participant Winner

MOOR PARK ACADEMY

Moor Park is a 2-form entry primary school in Blackpool who have been an advocate of the PL Primary Stars programme since its introduction. Initially embracing PE support delivered by BFCCT and using evidence based tool kits, the school soon identified key components within the programme that were beneficial to the pupils and teachers alike.

Continuous Primary Stars PE delivery has improved teachers capabilities and confidence in delivering PE lessons and subsequently increased the quality of PE in the school. Moor Park have always been represented at BFCCT sporting festivals and competitions with the school emphasis on team work and sportsmanship.

Now working with all class and nursery teachers, our partnership work has expanded over the last 5 years. BFCCT are currently supporting the school with redesigning the school PE curriculum, using teacher focus groups/workshops, school facilities, environment and the school’s values to develop a bespoke scheme of work that has been created collectively.

Premier League Kicks – Facilitator Winner

STEPHEN MCEWEN

Stephen started his journey with BFCCT as an apprentice sports coach in 2011 and completed his initial journey by becoming a sports coach on the very first PL Kicks site that was delivered in Blackpool at Revoe Park.

Ste continued to coach and inspire young people at this and many more sites for a further six years whilst working in a local nursery and completing his degree in Sports Coaching. Following his further progressions, he became the lead for BFCCT on Early Years PE in 2017 and has since continued in the role establishing a number of programmes in this area.

Stephen attributes his experience and involvement in PL Kicks and the impact he had on many young people to his progression and new career.

Premier League Kicks – Participant Winner

MATTHEW GUY

Matthew Guy is 17 years old and from the ‘Park’ ward area of Blackpool. Park ward has one of the highest rates of unemployment, ASB and deprivation in Blackpool and England.

Matthew has regularly attended PL Kicks sessions for the past five years and many positive experiences along the way. As well as representing Blackpool FC Community Trust in PL Kicks fixtures and the PL Kicks Cup, Matthew has travelled to play on the pitch at Wigan’s DW Stadium – winning the ‘Premier League Fair Play Award’ in a regional tournament, in this time.

In September 2020, Matthew joined our Blackpool FC Community Trust Sports College and is now studying for a BTEC level 3 in Sport. He is volunteering on our PL Kicks programme at the moment and booked his FA Level 1 in football. Matthew aspires to work for Blackpool FC Community Trust in the future as a full time member of staff delivering on the PL Kicks programme. 

Premier League Inspires – Facilitator Winner

SIMON SMITH

A PL Enterprise Delivery Officer from 2015, who helped shape and deliver the provision, through its final 3 years of delivery. 

On the introduction of PL Inspires, Simon became the Secondary Education Manager.  Through the partnerships already developed delivering PL Enterprise, consultation with schools took place, identifying that pupils needed support around mental health and managing stress around GCSE’s.  

Working with his team, Simon developed a mental health and resilience programme focussed on exam stress, embedding the research based Headstart Resilience Framework into the programme and supporting the strategic need in Blackpool to improve attainment and aspirations, which has been held as best practice nationally. 

Following the first year’s delivery of PL Inspires, Simon identified that the hour per week him and his staff were working with young people was not enough to fully support the pupils through the issues they raised thus further developing the PL Inspires programme into a High School Hubs offer, providing staff in every high school for two days per week.

Premier League Inspires – Participant Winner

DYLAN NAGLIATI

Dylan was a participant of the PL Enterprise programme in 2015 and was part of the national winning PL Enterprise Challenge team. Which allowed him to develop a business idea, in a team and present in front of some very challenging judges, including Theo Paphitis.

After winning the competition, Dylan and his team mates presented their idea to both Blackpool FC owners and also PL CEO Richard Scudamore. These experiences equipped Dylan to gain the confidence to apply for a business apprenticeship at British Aerospace, where he actually used the Enterprise Challenge presentation and experience as the main focus for his interview presentation.

Dylan now works in the commercial business department, which he credits his involvement with BFCCT and the Enterprise programme as key contributors to his progress. 

Premier League Professional Footballers’ Association – Facilitator Winner

FIT2GO

PLCF funding was initially secured in 2011 to enable BFCCT to develop and deliver a Key Stage 2 healthy lifestyle programme (Fit2Go) to help address poor diet and nutrition in the town and increase physical activity and awareness of a healthy lifestyle.

A successful pilot led to the programme being offered to all 30 schools in Blackpool. Notable gaps in the pupil health knowledge were suddenly reduced with 98% of children demonstrating improvement in their knowledge over the six week programme.

Player visits, inter-school healthy lifestyle quizzes and an end of year Fit2Go Festival made the programme a stand out provision to school. Over 15,000 Year 4 children have benefited from the PLCF funded initiative over the 10 year span. 

The effectiveness of the programme allowed the Community Trust to secure local authority match funding ensuring the continued development of the Fit2Go brand. This commitment was justified in 2017.

To date we have developed and delivered Early Years, High School and Family programmes under the Fit2Go umbrella.

Transformational Journey – Facilitator Winner

ARIF RAJPURA

Arif is Director of Public Health Blackpool and has been a huge advocate and supporter of Blackpool FC Community Trust throughout the past ten years.

Arif has been the local lead in developing strategies to decrease the obesity levels in the town and has supported the Trust’s Fit2Go programme with funding every year, for the past 10 years, which started in 2011 as a Premier League project. Arif and his team have also committed funding to the PL Inspires programme, for three years, to support local young people’s mental health and played a key role in shaping the way the programme is delivered. 

The team at Public Health and Blackpool FC Community Trust work closely across a range of projects, including Holiday Hunger and Get Vocal to make the lives of people in Blackpool better and healthier and his drive and willingness to work with others and bring all together is an inspiration. 

CEO: “The impact has been immense”

Since the start of the new Academic year our team have been working with local secondary schools to support pupils with their transition back into school and supporting young people with their resilience and preparation for exams. 

This is delivered under the umbrella of our PL Inspires programme which focuses on supporting and mentoring pupils who are identified by the schools as needing some additional help. 

Our team have been supporting our schools through face-to-face delivery since early September and the impact has been immense. 

In addition to this, we also continued with our Alternate Education offer, which allows pupils from local schools to spend a day every week at the stadium to learn with our teachers and study a BTEC Level 2 in Sports Coaching. This is currently done with three local secondary schools, to help inspire some of their students to engage with school and refocus their attentions. 

Whilst the team have been doing a fantastic job delivering these services of support in our schools, we have also been developing new provisions and will begin new services in local secondary schools very soon. Our focus has been on local need and how we can help further, we will release all the details very soon. It’s hard for me not to write about them yet, because they are extremely exciting, but we are currently completing contracts. 

This week our Traineeship team have also completed the first programme to engage young people aged 16-24 that are not in education or employment into education and work experience, with the end goal of getting into employment. 

The first course started in September and from the 20 young people engaged in the programme 60% have progressed into a positive employment opportunity so far, 90% said they felt more confident than they did at the start of the programme and 100% passed their first aid at work, digital skills course and health and safety qualifications. 

They also sat Maths and English Functional Skills exams, but whilst we suspect approximately an 80% success rate, we won’t have confirmed results until mid December. 

When gaining feedback at the end of the course, all of the trainees rated the programme 9 or above out of 10 and would recommend the programme to family and friends.

Another example of the huge impact our Trust is having on our Community. 

Kind Regards 

Ashley Hackett

Chief Executive Officer

JOB OPPORTUNITY: High School Hub Officer

Blackpool FC Community Trust is very proud and excited to launch a new support to every local secondary school in Blackpool. As part of this we are looking for a new member of staff to join our vibrant and forward-thinking organisation, which helps develop a range of opportunities for the people of Blackpool and the Fylde Coast to improve their lifestyles, education and health. 

The Community Trust is the independent official charity of Blackpool FC and is looking to add another member of staff to the very successful Education and Employability delivery team.

We are looking for a new High School Hub Officer who will deliver on our high school support programme.  The programme will support pupils in high schools across Blackpool through their journey in secondary education (Years 7 -11).  The role will include delivering our research based mental health and resilience programme Premier League Inspires, supporting identified pupils on a one to one basis through a range of issues such as self-esteem and achievement, supporting Year 7 pupils in their transition to high school, and delivering our Enterprise programme which aims to raise the aspirations of young people and improve their understanding of the world of work and business.

Please complete and return the attached application form to Secondary Education Manager Simon Smith at:

Email: simon.smith@bfcct.co.uk

Post: Simon Smith, Secondary Education Manager, Blackpool FC Community Trust, Bloomfield Road, Seasiders Way, Blackpool, FY1 6JJ

Applications must be submitted no later than midnight Monday 30th November

Interviews will take place 4th & 7th December 2020

New reward scheme for local primary schools

Thanks to the partnership between Sports Directory, EFL Trust and the PFA, we’ve been able to launch a new reward scheme where partner schools have a chance to win FREE equipment. 

How do schools win this amazing prize? Simple!

Each half term our Premier League Primary Stars team pick a class/group that they have been working with and nominate them for the ‘Class of the Term’. They could be selected for their attitude during PE lessons, their enthusiasm, development of skills or all-round behaviour. 

The winning class will be rewarded with a bundle of PE equipment for their school, which includes; a bucket of tennis balls, a stack of cones, bibs, bean bags, frisbees, footballs, skipping ropes and reaction balls.

Autumn 1: Class of the Term

Our first Premier League Primary Stars ‘Class of the Term’ goes to the Reception class at St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School. Congratulations! The class was chosen by our PE Officer, Oliver Perkins.

Here’s what Oliver had to say about why he chose this particular class:

“Their enthusiasm combined with their fantastic behaviour and attitude have made for some really enjoyable PE lessons. They’ve been a pleasure to work with and have really shown what they’re capable of. The class are an energetic bunch who are very keen to learn which has really aided their development throughout Autumn 1. Overall, they’ve been a great group to work with and are very deserving of the ‘Class of the Term’ accolade!”

Reception teacher Mrs Dowling, who is also PE lead at the school, was thrilled that her class had been chosen and the additional PE equipment was well received.

“I’m really pleased for the class. I know they have enjoyed the activities and always look forward to the sessions. I’ve enjoyed watching the children’s progress over the weeks and the new equipment will be great for our PE lessons across the school”. 

PE Manager for the Trust Chris Debar, was delighted that the Trust had received this equipment which enabled them to share it with partner schools across Blackpool.

“We’re really appreciative that Sports Directory, the PFA and EFL Trust have worked together to provide us with a large amount of high-quality equipment, so a huge thank you goes to the three of them. Through our Premier League Primary Stars project we can filter this equipment to some of our partner schools where it will be really appreciated. Being able to launch a ‘Class of the Term’ gives us an opportunity to highlight some of the amazing pupils and groups we get to work with and the equipment prize is a fantastic reward for them.”

Our next Class of the Term will be chosen before the break for Christmas, so check back to find out which class takes the award next time!

Well done Reception class!

BBC Children in Need

From after school clubs to toddler sessions, Blackpool FC Community Trust deliver numerous programmes in partnership with BBC Children in Need.

To celebrate the run up to Children in Need day, Friday 13th November, two 20 minute zoom sessions for Blackpool based Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) schools were conducted by BBC Radio Lancashire. The schools involved were Woodlands School on Wednesday and Park Academy on Thursday, with the Community Trust acting as an intermediary, between the radio station and the schools.

The host of the Zoom session was Steve Royle, finalist of Britain’s Got Talent. He entertained the children with his trademark comedy and juggling skills. Also joining him was the famous Pudsey Bear who has been the mascot for Children in Need for 35 years. 

A pupil of Woodlands, Jessica Rees, said That man was very funny, I loved seeing Pudsey, he was hiding from him”.

Mrs Craig, a teacher at Woodlands said, “The children absolutely loved it.  Steve was so engaging he managed to captivate all our children who were fascinated by it all. Thank you very much”

Paul, Community Trust Disability Inclusion officer, said “Thank you to BBC Radio Lancashire, Steve Royle and Pudsey Bear for putting this event on, and thank you to Woodlands and Park for engaging.

It was great that everyone could adapt and get involved with an event, via an online platform, to celebrate and increase the awareness of the amazing work BBC Children in Need do. 

It’s a privilege being one of the 3,900 local charities that Children in Need fund. We wouldn’t be able to work alongside the current five SEND schools we work with, offering sports activities and an event like this, if it weren’t for the funding we receive from Children in Need.” 

Today Bloomfield Bear visited Woodlands School in his Pudsey t-shirt. He had a great time meeting and dancing with the children and teachers.

Teacher, Miss Natalie said, “It was fantastic all the children loved it and joined in really well.”

Leyland, a pupil said, “I couldn’t believe it, I had a great time and I love the bear.”

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

CEO: We Will Remember Them

This week we have been utilising our Vets programmes and provision to develop ways to display our remembrance for those that gave their lives in the first world war.  This included us laying wreath at the Fylde Memorial Arboretum in Moor Park, where we maintain a part of the site which recognises the six Blackpool FC footballers that were killed in the great war.

We also worked closely with the football club to develop a video and share experiences with the players to lay a wreath on the pitch, which was then showed to both sets of players before our cup game against Leeds under 23’s on Wednesday 11th

This was all done because in normal circumstances we deliver a full service on the appropriate home game, nearest to the 11th, which for obvious reason we could not do behind closed doors this year. 

We also delivered a memorial session at the Arboretum on Wednesday, for local vets to link in, virtually, and take part in a session of respect. 

I hope our presentations allowed us to still show our gratitude and respect. 

This was all done as part of our provision dedicated to local veterans and serviceman to; engage in community activity, to reduce social isolation, engage in positive activity and also now our Forces Football. We hope we can restart this in early December, after delivering virtual social groups in November, to keep everyone in touch. 

This week also sees the annual Children in Need event. They support us greatly with funding to deliver a host of community physical activity sessions for early years children (aged 3-6) and also our disability programme, which delivers sports activities in local special schools and also allows us to develop and deliver community based sports clubs for children living with disabilities. 

I thought it was important to raise this, as it would be great if people can support in any way and know some part of that is helping local Blackpool children. 

Lockdown Guidance

As all can imagine, a large part of this week has been spent investigating which of our programmes can continue in the November lockdown and which will need to be postponed and what the implications of that will be. 

We can continue our work in local schools, so our PL Primary Stars, Fit2Go and Unstoppable programmes will continue to be delivered in primary schools throughout and our PL Inspires programme will continue in Secondary Schools and our Children in Need sessions in our local special schools.

Our BFC Sports College can remain open, so our BTEC and Degree students will continue to be supported in person as well as our Traineeship students.

We will also be able to continue with our mentor programmes Tower Above, Divert and United Together as all are focused on one-to-one work, which we’ll do outdoors.

We will however have to postpone face-to-face delivery of our PL Kicks sessions, Walking Football, Forces Football, Ladies Healthy Hearts sessions, Get Set to Go and Fit Blackpool groups.

However, we will take all of these provisions online and set up additional virtual groups, to add to our extra time, sporting memories and other groups that have remained online over the past few months with the hope to bring all back face-to-face delivery in line with government guidance in December.

We will also continue to support those isolated and shielding, via our Tackling Isolation project and work closely with local partners, including Blackpool Council to support those most in need.

At this point, we have no plans to reintroduce the furlough scheme for staff and remain committed to keeping our full workforce available, full time throughout November. We are here and committed to helping. 

Once again our staff have been tremendous in diversifying our provision and being willing to find ways to continue to support our local community.

Please keep up to date with the new sessions for November via our social media platforms. 

CEO: Half term concludes but our support continues

There has been a lot of discussion and amazing work done recently to help feed children on free school meals ensuring they continue to receive support during school holidays and Blackpool FC has also done its part to help locally. 

The first thing was the fantastic gesture from BFC Hotel to offer free meals to children over half term, which in a time of significant financial difficulty is a great gesture.

We have also continued our partnership with Blackpool Council and their Public Health team, to once again deliver holiday sports camps. Meals have been offered, free of charge, to local children on free school meals at both our Highfield Academy and Unity Academy Sport Camp sites. 

We delivered this programme in the summer school holidays and plan to do so again in February and Easter half terms, whilst also developing plans for how we can help at Christmas. 

This past week we have also delivered our holiday Stars Inclusion Camp which is an activity camp for local young people with disabilities. The sessions offer positive activity and respite for parents and families. 

We’re really proud of the school holiday offer that we deliver locally and hope we can get back to a little more normality by the time our next camps dates come around in February 2021 half term. 

The half term break also brings the conclusion of our first period of delivery in schools across our PL Primary Stars, Fit2Go and Unstoppable programmes in local primary schools and our Children In Need provision in local special schools.

The team have been fantastic in adapting to difficult circumstances and making sure our standards of delivery remain at their highest. 

We have also completed the first half term of our Blackpool FC Sports College. It’s certainly been a trying period with the amount of guidance we are having to follow to maintain a safe bubble. This time of year is normally the time we see the most transition of students coming and going and we have to confirm registration of students for the year. We started the year with 70 students and finish this period with 69, so it’s been a massive success in keeping all the students engaged and motivated in very unusual circumstance and making sure we can educate face-to-face, on a full time basis.

If you are looking forward to September 2021 and want to know more about our education opportunities, Blackpool FC Sports College are holding an open evening on Tuesday 8th December 2020. Booking is essentials so please call 01253 348 691 so book a time slot where you can learn more about the opportunities, facilities and support we offer.

Blackpool FC Sports College give back to their local community!

As part of Blackpool FC Sports College induction week, the students signed up to complete the NCS Programme and over the past three weeks they have been planning and delivering different social action projects.

The different BTEC groups have been going to different locations within Blackpool to do something productive and leave their mark.

Our first year Level 3 and first year Level 2 students went to AFC Blackpool to support with different maintenance jobs around the ground. They were at AFC Blackpool over the space of three weeks and transformed the front of the ground by digging up all the weeds and green growth. They also cleared the outer barrier around the pitch and the north stand of weeds.

Alan from AFC Blackpool said “It is always appreciated to get help especially from Blackpool FC Community Trust. All the students have made a real difference to the ground. AFC Blackpool is where they play their home fixtures, so it is really positive to see them caring for the ground they play on.”

Another group decided to leave their mark within the local community in Revoe.

Over the space of three weeks, they went to a community church and cleaned the outside of the area from rubble and over grown weeds. They smashed through it and Revoelution were amazed by their effort and have thanked the group for their hard work and determination.

The groups tutor Andy stated, “The group showed high levels of cohesion and togetherness in order to improve the condition of the local community areas such as Revoe park. The students were professional, hardworking and showed a good understanding of the impact their work would have on members of the Revoe Community.” 

Joe who is the NCS Social Action coordinator said “All the groups have shown real character and determination to make a difference and leave their mark within the town. If all the students show these qualities and skills within their day to day lives, they will all have successful careers in whatever they set their sights on. Well done from all the staff at NCS.”

While You Are Here…

NCS: Youth Board

Our Youth Board group met again on Thursday 22nd October. Young people applied and were given the opportunity to go through an interview process for a Senior Youth Board position.

The interviewees had to plan a fun activity for the group which they all delivered amazingly and all the group really enjoyed it.

The Senior Youth Board position was opened for our Youth Board members to step up and progress within the group, gaining more leadership and confidence skills. They will support with the running of the Youth Board and running/delivering engaging sessions.

A BIG congratulations to Mia Hodkinson and Holly Caygill on becoming our Senior Youth Board Members.

We are looking to add more Graduates to our group! 

So, if you have completed NCS and live in Blackpool or surrounding areas, you can join our group and carry on your NCS journey. Within our group we: 

  • Plan social action projects – So we can make a difference within our community.
  • Fun activities – We plan group games and activities
  • Workshops – We deliver knowledgeable and awareness workshops
  • Opportunities to thrive

If you are interested then please email our NCS Extension Phase Coordinator – joe.stockell@bfcct.co.uk