Level Playing Field Unite For Access

Level Playing Field is the leading disability fan advocacy in England and Wales and this year it is launching its re-branded annual flagship campaign Unite for Access. In support of the campaign, Blackpool FC, working alongside Blackpool FC Community Trust (BFCCT), will welcome pupils from two SEND schools the Trust works with.
Unite For Access is replacing the previous name ‘Level Playing Field Weeks of Action’. The campaign will continue to raise awareness and drive equality for a more inclusive match day experience for disabled sports fans.

BFCCT deliver BBC Children in Need funded sessions in both schools, one of which we have been working with for a long time and many of our community disability sessions are attended by pupils from this school.

Blackpool FC’s ticketing partner LogoLogo Branded Clothing have provided us with 40 tickets to the Blackpool vs Burnley game, which allows a pupil and one parent or guardian to accompany them, along with two members of staff from each school. The sessions BFCCT deliver with support from Children in Need are focused on children getting active, encouraging everyone to join in and try new sports.

One teacher spoke about the sessions BFCCT deliver in their school,

“I can only give positive feedback for how Paul and Gary deliver the sessions to our children each week. All the children are fully engaged and entertained, encouraged, and praised both as a group and individually as well as empowered to try new things. I can’t recommend their physical activity sessions enough.”

From their work in schools, BFCCT signpost children into their community disability sessions; Junior Pan Football, Friday Night Club, and Stars half-term camp. All these programmes run throughout the year and cater for 8-16 and 7-18-year-olds living with a disability. They are aimed at increasing young people’s physical activity outside of school, in a safe place to come and have fun, meet new friends, and provide respite care for parents and guardians.

One parent, said this about the Stars Camp,

“Harry has been coming to Stars for years. I wouldn’t send him anywhere else. He has the best time and I know he is safe and well looked after. All the staff are the best and do an amazing job.”

For those who are 16 and above, BFCCT delivers disability football sessions, Adult Pan and Unified. These sessions take place during term time and participants can play in a Saturday 5-a-side league and fixtures taking place once a month outside of term time. Some participants who attend these sessions have engaged with the Community Trust throughout their time at school, went on to join Junior Pan football and now they are old enough, they attend Adult Pan and Unified football.

Paul, the Disability Engagement Office for the Trust said,

“I have already been part of two events for Level Playing Field. They have been good events, and we’re thankful to Blackpool FC and LogoLogo Branded Clothing for giving us the tickets allowing us to support Level Playing Fields Unite for Access campaign this year. What has made the Level Playing Field events great is that some of the children would likely not have the opportunity otherwise to attend a football match. When we did the event last year, for some of the children it was their first time attending a football match and to see the excitement on their faces as they walked into the stadium was priceless. We hope this year to give the children a good experience of attending a football match for the first time.”

If you’d like to get involved with any of the activities mentioned or would like more information please visit our website www.bfcct.co.uk or email info@bfcct.co.uk.