We have delivered the first half of our NCS Keep Doing Good project this past week, which has seen 35 young people, who have recently left secondary school, engage in social action activity and plan programmes they will deliver to support their local communities. Some of the ideas from the young people have been quite innovative, including a Keep our Beaches Clean campaign and also Football Coaching scheme for young people. Some of the lads that have been practicing their coaching sessions have shown great potential and we may have some future staff in the group, which is always a primary objection for us, to build job opportunities and our future workforce.
We’ve been really lucky that we have been able to deliver this provision as a face-to-face programme, as many clubs in the north west have had to revert to digital delivery, due to local lockdowns. It’s a great shame for them, as I’m sure the digital delivery will not have the same impact, so we are extremely lucky to continue to support our young people in the best way.
Our education team have also been busy making preparations for the new academic year. Our Education officers have been working up brand new schemes of work for our BTEC Level 2 and 3 qualifications in sports coaching, due to the new BTEC Specs for the new academic year. The new units and delivery look really exciting and put together with the reintroduction of our EFL CEFA National 11 aside league, we still believe our BFC Sports College is the best option for young people looking to progress their post 16 Education in sport and leisure.
I also had the pleasure of attending our BFC Walking Football Committee meeting on Thursday. It was great to help bring the fellas together to catch up and talk all things Walking Footy, even though we had to give the terrible news that we cannot relaunch our provision until mid-September, because our facility hosts Play Football and Lytham YMCA will not open their pitches until this time. We’re ready to go, but we’re a little reliant on others in this situation.
What this period has highlighted is our reliance on others, when it comes to facilities and whilst I was working on plans for the future long before COVID, it has intensified this area of development and hopefully we can announce some very exciting plans soon.
We have some grand plans and significant support locally, regionally and nationally to put them in place.
At the start of lockdown the Trust was probably the only section of the Football Club that was still able to be front facing and deliver some form of our objections, it’s great to now see the first team back in training and working hard for the new season, the youth team back too and most of the Football Club staff back working hard across the board. There has been an awful lot of investment and work going on in the background and significant changes around the stadium, our offices even have new windows (which open), so we have been spoilt this summer.
It was also very exciting to see season tickets go on sale this past week and from reports I’ve seen, it’s great to see the community continue to back the club in such a difficult period. We all have our part to play, so it’s amazing to see everyone come together they we all have. It’s such an exciting time to part of Blackpool FC.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Delf for all his contributions over the past few years and support in getting other players involved in visits and programmes. He has truly been a credit to this football club and will be really missed by the Community Trust for years to come. Our new players have a lot to live up to, because he has set a very high standard of support for us over the years.
Whilst a lot of our attention has been on reintroducing staff back to work, projects back into delivery and new developments, my attention has to always continue to assess the risk of COVID-19 and whether or not a local lockdown could be implemented and what that would then mean for the charity again. At the moment, it’s full steam ahead with staff working towards a ‘normal’ for September, with programmes back in schools, our education and employability taking place onsite and our community programmes being back in place to support our local residents. We just hope it stays that way.