Early in 2020, before the emergence of COVID-19 and the UK Lockdown, Keira Threlfall and Caprice Burrows represented Blackpool Football Club Community Trust and their school, St. Georges, in the Premier League Inspires Challenge. The girls were set the task of producing a social action idea that would make a difference to our club and community.
They chose to raise awareness of the Blackpool Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and fundraise money to set up a support group for the families of babies in the NICU.
After carrying out research they also decided that they would use the money raised to create care packages for NICU families and buy toys for the waiting rooms in the NICU for siblings and young children to play with whilst visiting. They decided to do this because they both had a significant personal connection to the NICU at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Having seen young members of their family admitted to the NICU it exposed them to the amazing work that the ward carries out. They saw an opportunity to provide more social support and aftercare for NICU families.
Throughout their social action the girls were very creative and proactive in their fundraising ideas. They raised money by:
- Participating in a sponsored silence for a whole school day.
- Ran a game where people paid 50p to guess the name of a soft toy monkey and the correct answer would win the monkey.
- Had a raffle full of donated prizes from local businesses.
- Held a bingo night at the football club’s education and community centre.
- Participating in a sponsored walk with children and families from the NICU. Held a huge cake sale at school selling donated and homemade cakes.
Due to COVID-19, UK Lockdown, and school closures the PL Inspires Challenge unfortunately came to a halt. As a result of government restrictions, the girls were unable to fulfil their core aim of setting up a support group for NICU families, creating care packages for NICU families and buying toys to be delivered to the NICU. However, due to their determination and resilience they ensured that their fundraising and hard work would not go to waste. In total they raised an amazing £1417.35 and they donated all this money to the Blackpool NICU.
We are nominating the girls to be community stars because of this amazing achievement. Throughout the whole process they have been highly motivated, independent, and determined. We think that Keira and Caprice are outstanding members of both their school and local community and they have done themselves proud. For two young girls currently studying for their GCSE’s to selflessly give up their time and effort to help other people to improve the lives of other families going through a difficult time is outstanding.