Blackpool Football Club Community Trust have launched a new session called ‘Team Talk’, which is aimed at Blackpool FC supporters and aims to keep supporters connected.
The weekly sessions are delivered online through Zoom, and occasional have visits from Blackpool FC Footballers, past and present where fans can pose questions to the players and share some of their experiences at the Club.
This programme was launched during the height of the pandemic as a way to ensure that the fans still had access to the club and the team, something that many people were really missing. The group has since developed into a steady group of participants, and it’s wonderful to see friendships being formed.
While the focus of the sessions is always about football and the team / club, the sessions also provide an opportunity for people to check in on each other’s wellbeing.
One of the first sessions was attended by current Blackpool FC players, Chris Maxwell and James Husband. Chris Maxwell spoke afterwards by stating:
“We were really interested to hear what the group had to say. Mental health is an important discussion to have.
“Forums like this are vital because sometimes people don’t have the immediate support network that others do. This gives the opportunity for everybody involved to support each other, and that can make a real difference.
“I was able to offer some of my experiences and honest insight into how I deal with things in my own life, and we also had some tricky football questions to answer, too. I think everybody enjoyed it.”
Our participants loved getting the opportunity to speak with some Blackpool FC Stars, one participant, Sue said:
“It was good to listen in on their thoughts. It is fascinating how some football players struggle as well. Sometimes you don’t realise how some people find it hard, never know what goes on behind closed doors.”
Another participant, Scott said:
“Maxi [Chris] got me a bit, it’s a weird thing to know even more successful people have their own struggles too.”
Not everybody has access to the internet, nor are they ‘tech savvy’ and able to use applications such as Zoom. BFCCT have many other sessions available from doorstep visits (current safety measures in place) to simple welfare phone calls. There are fitness programmes which include mobility aids and a training plan to do at home. There is a ‘Sporting Memories’ session where a person will receive a special box of memorabilia and action plan to help with mental health and combating loneliness.
If you know somebody who could benefit from an engagement such as the ones mentioned, then please get in touch with Blackpool Football Club Community Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org or call / text 07597 786098.