Over the past couple of weeks we have been collating all the data for the work we have delivered during the pandemic and it started to show some amazing figures.
From April - July we had to change our ways of delivering a host of services and really invest in the digital platforms.
This was a real culture shock for the organisation, staff and participants, but all reacted and responded very well.
Pretty much from day one, we had virtual classrooms taking place for our BFC Sports College and Traineeship students, digital social groups for our older adults and residents at risk of isolation and physical activity sessions and challenges for our younger audiences to still feel engaged in BFC Community Trust activity.
We also introduced a host of new provisions, focused on supporting our most at risk local people and those that were shielding, due to long standing illnesses, which meant we were making regular phone calls, health checks and food parcel deliveries.
This resulted in some unbelievable statistics:
- 150,000 engagements in our virtual physical activities
- 520 food parcels delivered
- More than 640 health checks made
- Staff completed more than 180 qualifications in the period
- 100% of our BTEC students completed their targeted qualification.
Whilst the pandemic was an extremely stressful and difficult period, it allowed us to focus on the thing that we should always do - support our community - and this allowed our team to utilise their creative sides to come up with new ways to still show our support and try to make a difference.
We have also been able to introduce a host of new programmes, as part of our reaction to the lockdown, which we hope will help rebuild resilience, confidence and an opportunity to get back to some form of normality.
The end of August sees us also complete a very different summer of delivery, which has included being a successful partner of the Blackpool Council led Blackpool Summer of Fun, which saw us delivering a host of free physical activity sessions and also give free lunches as part of the offer.
We have also delivered an Inclusion Sports Camp at Bloomfield Road, with Lancashire County Council, for young people with disabilities and also an alternate Kicks programme, which has focused on providing free football sessions in areas seeing significant juvenile anti social behaviour and for families in more need.
This on top of our new Tackling Isolation work and some of the regular programmes we deliver has meant all staff back are back in work for a couple of months now and are raring to hit the ground running for our full reintroduction in September.
The end of August also sees the close of our 2019-2020 season, which for many reasons has been our most successful one to date. We close the year with more staff employed, programmes being delivered in our community and we also opened our first Trust owned facility, the Education and Community Centre at Bloomfield Road.
We also continued to build stronger links with local community groups and organisations, including; Blackpool Council and it’s many sections of service, local businesses, Lancashire Constabulary and other crime related services, local education and employment establishments and also our clubs supporters groups BST and the Muckers to name a few.
This has been very important in our continued progress and also rebuilding strong links with our “new” football club, so I would like to thank everyone for opening their doors and welcoming the opportunity to work with us.
I’d also like to thank our Board of Trustees, who tirelessly give up their time and have helped guide me through some very tough circumstances this past year, Also my fantastic team of staff, who are always committed, compassionate and focused on helping our amazing community.
I also need to thank my family, especially my wife and daughters, as there are many times I should be home at a normal time and am stuck at work or lose my weekends to deal with something, to which they never grumble and always spur me on.
Whilst this brings a close to the 2019-2020 season it starts the 2020-2021 season, which we believe will be our biggest and best yet and we have lots to announce in the next few months. We have all our staff back working and we have most of our programmes back in place from the start of September, plus lots of new things coming up. It’s very a very exciting time ahead.
Blackpool FC Community Trust CEO