I thought I would spend this week’s column talking about some of the participants we have had an impact on, post COVID lockdown, as an example of the amazing work the team deliver.
We recently relaunched our Get Set to Go sessions at Stanley Park, which focus on using football as a way to help support the mental health and wellbeing of local people.
One of our participants, Ben said, “Really good to be back, I’ve enjoyed it. I’m glad we’re back to organising football again. For me it’s been so hard through lockdown. I’m just glad to be back around everyone again and the coaches.”
One of our new Traineeship students Cayman Irvine spoke about his involvement; “The Traineeship has improved my self-esteem and confidence. My mental health was very low during lockdown but my work placement gave me the opportunity to focus on something positive.”
Our Traineeship programme works with 16-24 year olds, that are currently not in employment or education and attempts to help put them on the path to work.
Funded by EFL Trust and Sport England our FIT BLACKPOOL programme has been extremely popular and had some amazing results from participants.
We’re excited that Heart Research UK, through the Healthy Hearts Grant, have now funded a new session that we can offer females who have completed the FIT BLACKPOOL programme and want to continue physical activity. Keep FIT sessions are now delivered at the football stadium.
One of our new Keep FIT participants, Emma, talked about our support, “To begin with I was really worried about catching Coronavirus so I didn’t leave the house for four weeks. Nathan and Lee were putting videos of workouts on our group that we could do at home so that was really good. Towards the end of lockdown I bought some weights and tried to up my steps again because at one point my steps had dropped to 2000/3000 a day and now I’m aiming to do at least 10,000/ 12,000 a day. It had a big effect on my mental health at the beginning of lockdown but I think I came out of it stronger than what I went into it.
When asked how she felt about returning back to the sessions Emma said, “You’re made to feel welcome no matter what age, shape, size or how fit you are. I was terrified of exercise to begin with and now I absolutely love it. I don’t feel judged and it’s great to have that support. The support from here is amazing, the group is brilliant and so encouraging too. It just spurs you on to do better each time.
I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been so good getting back into the circuits here. I’m a bit nervous about going to a different circuits class at the gym because they are all super fit and I’m a bit scared of those. This is perfect for me as I can work at my own pace, do what I want to do, use my body weight to do exercise and it got my heart rate up too. I just love it. I’ve really missed it over lockdown.”
These are just 3 examples of local individuals our programmes have helped and inspired post lockdown. One of the things that makes me most proud to be a part of the Community Trust is that we have a programme for everyone and are committed to increasing this further as we continue to develop.