This past week has seen our Summer provision for young people in Blackpool kick off, with great attendances at our school based and community based Blackpool Summer of Fun provision.

All the school based activities registers are full and our community sessions have been very well received.

Our disability programme, delivered at Bloomfield Road for young people has also had a very good start to the summer holidays, with the young participants enjoying lots of activities, whilst being very sensible and mindful of their physical distancing.

It’s been great to see so many children getting active again and our staff have also been so happy to be back in work, doing what they love.

Our attention is now on our teenage young people and getting as many 15-18 year olds involved in our NCS programme.

This years offer is a little bit different to our norm (like everything), but allows us to engage the target group into a two week social action programme, which focuses on their own resilience, teamwork skills and putting something back into their community.

We are proposing to deliver the programme over August in three waves.

The first wave starting on Monday 3rd August, which paces are nearly full and our second wave beginning on Monday 17th August. Both groups will be based in the Matthews Suite at Bloomfield Road and we have lots of plans for them to “Do Good”.

The third group will be exclusive to our BFC Sports College students, both new and current. Young people that have signed up to the next academic years provision will be offered the chance to engage in a bespoke NCS, with a Football twist. We will incorporate pre season training and a community coaching programme  as part of the offer. This is a great way for us to pilot something this summer, that we hope we can then offer to local U16 football clubs moving forward.

Plans are now starting to come together and it’s been great to put a summer offer in place, which our team now coordinate and deliver and proves we did the right thing in keeping our senior and management team all working throughout this past five months.

My attention is now solely on the future and how we bring back the rest of our provisions and build ourselves back as a better charity for the long term.

I’ve been very lucky to have a significantly supportive board of trustees, that have allowed me to utilise some of our reserve funding, if we need to, to keep the workforce intact until at least the end of this calendar year, so that we can respond to need and the changing climate.

We don’t want to rush into restructures and redundancies becomes I genuinely believe we won’t need to, if we can get through the next 3-6 months.

I’m also working on three very exciting facility projects, that we hope will greatly benefit our local community and it’s residents. We have been so reliant on other groups and organisations facilities over the years and remain so in this current period, where some are still closed and don’t appear to be reopening soon. This has just highlighted to me even more so that we now need to develop our own opportunities, so that our work isn’t effected. It will take time, but we’ll get there.

Still lots to do and never a dull day.