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