Last week was the EFL Week of Action, showcasing the 72 Clubs’ commitment to improving lives up and down the country and building stronger, healthier, and more active communities. We were very proud to be representing the Blackpool Area as one of the 72 clubs.
With support from the EFL/ EFL Trust, we can deliver countless programmes to support and engage the community of Blackpool.
Here is our breakdown of EFL Week of Action:
EFL Week of Action started very successfully for us as it was announced that we were one of the six regional winners of the Your Move Community Club of the Season for the outstanding work we deliver off the pitch. We are very proud to represent the North West and Blackpool in these awards and we hope to continue to support our local community in the best way possible.
Sonny Carey and Grant Ward’s Visit to HAF Camps
On Monday, Blackpool FC players Sonny Carey and Grant Ward attended down to visit the children at our Holiday, Activity and Food programme which is dedicated to supporting children and families during the school holidays. The Blackpool FC players helped the kids out with their food, watched them play some mini-games of football and answered some questions the kids were eager to ask such as “How old are you?” and “Do you have a girlfriend?” Sonny Carey said this about the experience “It’s important that players get involved with the community and help the kids where we can.” Grand Ward had this to say about the experience “The clubs can interact with the community and keep them involved so they feel like they’re part of the club so I think it’s a great scheme and it’s something that should keep going.”
Jordan Gabriel’s Visit to Layton Juniors
To coincide with EFL Week of Action, Layton Juniors received a surprise visit from Blackpool FC player Jordan Gabriel through our Tangerine TeamMates programme. Layton Juniors’ Club Secretary Paul Precious had this to say about the experience:
“I feel the Tangerine TeamMates is a great initiative for the youth players of Blackpool. It gives them a chance to meet their heroes and to meet, train and ask questions to a professional footballer. It gives them something to aspire to!”
Layton Juniors commented on this experience by saying “A big thank you from all of us at Layton Juniors, Jordan was amazing.” All the kids loved every second of it!
Linking to supporting our local community, thanks to additional support from EFL Trust, we can provide young people with Traineeship opportunities. Our Traineeship programme is aimed at young people aged 18-24 who are currently unemployed and may be at high risk of becoming unemployed for the long term. Chloe enrolled on our Traineeship to gain vital skills such as Maths, English and money management, having previously experienced negative experiences in previous workplaces due to her trans status and involvement in the LGBT+ community. Chloe commented, “It’s the best thing I have ever participated in, and my future looks bright for the first time.” To view Chloe’s story in full, click the link here- Reaching Out and Reconnecting: How Blackpool FC changed Chloe’s life – EFL Trust.
NCS Walk and Easter Activity Day
Several young people from our Changemakers programme raised funds for Brian House Children’s Hospice by completing a sponsored walk along the Blackpool Promenade. The funds went towards creating an exciting and fun Easter Activity Day for the children at Brian House Children’s Hospice which involved an Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Egg Decorating and finished with some Easter themed Bingo. Everyone in attendance thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were incredibly thankful for all the support shown by the NCS Changemakers team and for holding such an incredible Easter Fun Day.
During EFL Week of Action, we announced that there will be brand new FIT Blackpool sessions taking place in Blackpool. FIT Blackpool is a 12-week programme that helps support people in weight management and mental health and has developed massively, going from strength to strength, helping over 600 people change their ways and improve their lifestyles.
We released our brand-new FIT Blackpool video which provides information about the programme and also includes some positive stories from several participants who took part in FIT Blackpool.
We also invited participants of FIT Blackpool to Blackpool FC vs Nottingham Forest on Saturday 2nd April to say a massive well done and thank you to everyone for their incredible efforts on FIT Blackpool. One participant who had never seen the Seasiders play stated “Thank you for letting me have the experience to go to the match, the whole experience was something that I will always remember.”
If you want to get involved in our FIT Blackpool programme then contact: https://bit.ly/FitBlackpool.
College Training Ground Visit
As part of EFL Week of Action, Blackpool FC invited 19 of our Blackpool FC Sports College students to visit their training ground and observe the first team players during an hour-long training session. This was an incredible experience for all the students who witnessed how a football club runs behind the scenes, how training sessions function, and what coaches do to support and improve their players. All of the students found this experience to be very helpful for their courses and future careers. If you want to view more information regarding this visit, please check out this more in-depth article on our website: EFL WEEK OF ACTION: College visit Blackpool FC Players | BFCCT.
Callum Connolly Inclusion Camp Visit
On 7th April, we saw Blackpool FC Defender Callum Connolly pop down to our Inclusion Camp to meet the young people. All participants were extremely excited to meet Callum as he was greeted with massive cheers and numerous smiles. This was a great experience for the participants as they got to meet someone they look up to and aspire to be.
Kelvin took part in our 12-week FIT Blackpool programme over four years ago. Since then, we have continued to provide more opportunities for Kelvin to maintain his physical activity levels. Across his journey on the programme, Kelvin lost a total of 22 kg and said he left so much more confident in himself. Kelvin commented on the experience by saying “The programme provided me with knowledge and education around how to lead a healthier lifestyle through food and drink and each week built on increasing exercise regime. All exercises were things that could be done at home with little or no equipment meaning that I could continue them in between the weekly sessions. The programme leaders were always very encouraging and supportive ensuring that there was a good variety of activities to suit everybody and adapted anything if people were unable to manage something through injury or illness. To View Kelvin’s story in full, click the link here- EFL Week of Action: Kelvin’s Story | BFCCT.
During EFL Week of Action, our Junior Reporter competition winner Isaac received his prize for entering our lockdown competition back in 2020! The diehard Blackpool fan and North Stand season ticket holder fulfilled his dream of interviewing Blackpool FC Head Coach Neil Critchley at the club’s training ground. The 30-minute session saw Isaac quiz Neil on several subjects from Grimshaw’s injury to youth prospects and where he envisions, he can take the club.