This week sees a host of our programmes complete a very challenging first period of provision this season.
Our BFC Sports College students have completed their initial term, which has seen 68 BTEC students and 16 Degree students engage in their education programme in a safe bubble, with full time face-to-face delivery, which so far has not had to be closed out at any point, due to positive COVID cases.
It was very important to me that we made sure we could support these young people appropriately, whilst making sure we respected the guidance and kept everyone safe. I was very lucky to have a team that agreed with this decision and the staff and the students have worked really hard to follow our COVID guidance, risk assessments and procedures and I must thank everyone for being so disciplined and focused throughout this period.
November lockdown aside, we have also been able to make sure these students have continued to represent the club in the EFL CEFA League, against other Community Trusts and throughout the term we have been able to make sure they have trained every week, to fulfil their enrichment opportunities.
The staff have also been really creative in finding ways to keep students engaged, with workshops with Premier League Referees, ex players talking about their experiences and even our BFC Head Coach Neil Critchley, who talked them through his professional journey and even offered every single student to attend training and watch first hand, once we get out of this COVID situation.
This week also saw us complete our Christmas fundraising challenge, which saw our local fans, community, businesses, first team players and staff raise an amazing £41,311, which our club owner Simon Sadler, his family and Segantti Capital Management partners and staff have matched, meaning an unbelievable £82,622 has been raised to help local children live happier lives.
I genuinely cannot find the words to explain my pride, gratitude and respect for our WHOLE COMMUNITY for coming together and supporting this campaign to make sure no child goes without a gift on Christmas morning. It’s also added a real excitement for the future, when we think how everyone came together for this cause.
We have also had a great task to source so many gifts to make sure we give the children a gift that will excite them on the 25th.
We have worked with a number of companies and had to travel to Birmingham, Manchester and local stores to collect all the gifts. We have then had some fantastic donations of biscuits, sweets, selection boxes, books and many little gifts to make up the treat boxes to go with the present.
Our fans will be pleased to hear some of the treats have included BFC Scarfs and stationary sets for our next generation of fans.
My team have then had the unenviable task of wrapping almost 2000 boxes for the children, in BFC branded paper, to make sure we make these gifts as special as possible.
We have then delivered all the gifts to each school, in time for parents to collect them.
I had the pleasure of going to some of the schools myself to make the deliveries and it was a very humbling experience at each school. I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone again for your support and generosity.
This week sees a lot of our staff finish work for a very well earned two week break. The staff have worked tirelessly this year, in extremely difficult circumstances, to continue to support our local residents and do their best to help make people’s lives better, whether through delivering PHSE or PE lessons in local primary schools, mentoring in our secondary schools and local community, delivering sports sessions in areas of high anti social behaviour, engaging young people in social action, educating young people to help put them on a positive path for the future, to also working with adults on physical activity and weight management programmes, to even working with some of our most isolated residents in the town, to try to support them to engage in their community.
It fills me with great pride to lead this fantastic team, that every BFC Fan and Blackpool resident should be greatly proud of for the work and dedication they give.
To highlight this, some of the team have even volunteered to visit some of our most at risk and isolated participants on Christmas Day.
We’ll all take this opportunity to rest and recharge our batteries to come back again in 2021 and support even more.
I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Christmas and let’s make 2021 a positive memorable year, which hopefully includes a promotion and many really exciting announcements from us. #UTMP