Ministers Visit Blackpool FC Community Trust

On Thursday 18th November, the newly appointed Education Secretary, Mr Nadhim Zahawi, along with other ministers, visited Blackpool to see the amazing work that the Department for Education (DfE) has been supporting over the past few years. 

During their visit, they met with some representatives from high schools, students who are participating in our mentoring programme, and teachers from the school who have been involved with the success of the programme.

Ashley Hackett, CEO at Blackpool FC Community Trust, presented to the guests showcasing the amazing work and support that we provide across the town. Ash was also joined by our hub mentors, teachers and mentees from schools to give an alternative perspective.

Blackpool Opportunity Area has, through the DfE, been a partner of Blackpool FC Community Trust and funded the 1-1 mentoring programme within Blackpool mainstream secondary schools. Their support, along with funding from the Premier League, Beaverbrooks The Jewellers, and Public Health Blackpool, allows us to have High School Hub Mentors based within schools for two days a week, all year round.

The funding allows us to provide holistic support to students, not only in our planned 1-1 sessions, but also throughout the school day.

Whilst visiting the secondary schools, we deliver our Premier League Inspires programme to Year 9 students, Beaverbrooks Enterprise to Year 8 and, from this September, we have supported Year 7 with their high school transition through 1-1 sessions and also small group work.

Hear From Staff and Students

Mike, Hayes, Head of Year 10 from Montgomery Academy said,

“Hazel has a constant presence around school not just with the students she mentors, but with any students that were in need at particular times of the day. This has been hugely beneficial for the students and gives them that communication with someone who will listen and doesn’t have that teaching responsibility that sometimes can take over the role.”

Richard Bryne, Director of Behaviour at Aspire Academy said,

“Our High School Hub Mentor Michelle provides an invaluable service to the school. Having Michelle in school has helped our students to re-engage, build their character and resilience, which in turn helps them to succeed.”

Tyler, a Year 7 mentee at Aspire Academy said,

“I was very nervous coming to school, and I didn’t know if I was going to make any friends. I never used to believe in myself and have any resilience, but Michelle, the hub mentor, has given me that now. There would be times when I would be upset and would go into the library, and she would be there to help calm me down and make my day better.”

Michelle Tierney, Blackpool FC Community Trust High School Hub Mentor said,

“It’s incredible how much Tyler has achieved through her mentoring in such a short space of time, and her new confidence and self-belief is incredible to see. It’s fantastic to be able to support these students in the schools, and we see more and more the huge need and the positive impact we are having with the individuals we mentor.”