Blackpool FC Community Trust, with support from the Premier League and Blackpool Public Health, will this academic year support local Year 10 pupils prepare for exams with a new mental health provision called PL Inspires.
£180,000 of funding has been secured to provide this programme for the next three years.
After consultation with local young people, it was discovered that they felt there was a lack of support for them in relation to the pressure of exam stress, preparation, and overall mental well-being.
Ashley Hackett, Chief Executive Officer of Blackpool FC Community Trust, said, “This programme is another example of the quality of provision that the Trust are developing to support local people in the town. PL Inspires is a prime example of where we have worked with local and national partners to understand local people’s needs and them found a way to help. We were identified as one of only 30 clubs in the country to be able to access Premier League funding for an Inspires topic and we have been very lucky to also receive support from our local public health team.”
The Community Trust will now offer local secondary schools a 20 hour programme, focused on helping them become more resilient individuals, reducing anxiety and developing coping mechanisms and relaxation techniques, to support the young people through the difficult time of exams.
The programme, which links into Headstart’s resilience revolution, has been developed by the Trust’s Head of Education and Employability, Selina Hayes and Secondary Education Manager, Simon Smith, with support from Headstart Blackpool. Blackpool FC Community Trust will employ two members of staff to help young people in Blackpool schools to have a positive outlook on a difficult period and support those currently on the cusp of gaining GCSE grades 4-5.
On Friday 24thJanuary we held our PL Inspires Challenge event at Bloomfield Road. Eight teams from across Blackpool came to present their social action ideas to staff at the club. Well done to all the pupils who attended the event and congratulations to the winners from St George’s High School. They will now go on to represent the club at the final celebration event in London later on this year.
Simon Smith, Secondary Education Manager said, “It could have been quite daunting for them to present their ideas in front of people they didn’t know but the groups did themselves proud. They excelled with how well they delivered and presented their social actions on the day. There were some great ideas that would have a positive impact on their local community, and I hope to see them continue with their plans.”
Dr. Arif Rajpura, Director of Public Health, Blackpool Council, said “We know that exam time can be a real source of stress for our young people in Blackpool. Those taking part in PL Inspires will develop the skills and techniques they need to cope, not just with exams but with other challenging times in their lives too. We‘re proud to support this programme and are looking forward to seeing the positive impact it has.”
Provision in local secondary schools will begin in January 2020.