After consultation with local young people, it was discovered that they felt there was a lack of support for them in relation to overall mental health and well-being. The Community Trust offer local secondary schools a 15-hour programme, developed by the Trust’s Head of Education and Employability, and Secondary Education Manager. It is focused on helping students become more resilient individuals, reducing anxiety, and promoting self-confidence and belief. This will support the young people through difficult times they face both inside and outside of school.
Ashley Hackett, Chief Executive Officer of Blackpool FC Community Trust, said,
“This programme displays the quality of provision that the Trust are developing to support local people in the town. PL Inspires is a prime example of where we have worked nationally with partners, but also locally with young people, to understand their needs and assist them. We were identified as one of the clubs in the country who are able to access Premier League funding for an Inspires topic.”
Delivery began at the beginning of the year to selected year 9 pupils in our partner high schools, Armfield Academy, Aspire Academy, Highfield Leadership Academy, Montgomery Academy and Unity Academy. The first lesson is an introduction into resilience, what it looks like, and how we can use it in positive ways. The pupils then undertake a series of weekly one-hour lessons, designed to engage people more positively and create situations for them to interact, discuss, and debate certain topics linked to supporting their anxiety and stress. Examples of such topics are managing stress, creating good habits and healthy relationships.
During Week 5, titled Mental Health Stories, the lesson is supported by Blackpool FC U18 scholars, who discuss the pressures and anxiety they face aiming to become professional footballers.
A Year 9 Pupil from Armfield Academy said;
“I have learnt that the environment is important, and we need to look after it. It was a nice opportunity to get my idea across & build my social skills.”
The High School Hub programme is made up of three core programmes which are highlighted below. They provide further support to pupils in Blackpool schools alongside their academic pathways.