Meet Lily, one of our participants at Blackpool FC Community Trust. Lily lives with autism and attends our Stars Inclusion half term camps and Friday Night club, both funded by Lancashire County Council. She also attends our Thursday evening Junior Pan football sessions, funded by the Premier League and has been taking part in our activities since September 2019.
To give some impact of the importance of this funding we asked Lily’s mum what would happen if these provisions were not there anymore.
Her mum said “It would massively affect Lily. She loves the groups and holiday club. It also gives carers and working parents a break and much needed childcare. I feel comfortable, I know Lily is safe and happy and that she can be socially okay with her surroundings."
We asked Lily what she likes most about attending our provisions and Lily said “I enjoy seeing my friends.” One of the friends she’s made at camp, Monty, said “She’s good Lily. I love seeing her”.
Due to Lily’s attendance across many of our programmes, she has made quite a few friends.
One of the major outcomes, of this much needed funding, is the element of friendships being made outside of the school setting. It helps the young people we work with to be able to build their social skills, which in turn helps build their confidence.
As they are left in our supervision, for some of our provisions, this helps build their comfortableness around adults and other young people they don’t see on a regular day to day basis. It's easy to see that Lily has benefited from this.
Paul, Community Engagement Officer (Disability), said, “Lily is just a bundle of positive energy at our provisions. She tries anything we have to offer. She’s made quite a few friends along the way. One good friend she’s made at our half term camps is Monty. They wait for each other’s arrival if the other has got their first. When the last one arrives the first one welcomes them as if they are a staff member! Going out to them, saying hello, and then leading them into the building. It’s brilliant to see! Very endearing”
As Lily is one of our younger participants, in our 7-18 year old cohorts, we hope for her to keep engaging and keep making new friends along the way.