AFC Fylde Community Foundation has an impressive reputation for delivering community sports and activities.
The charitable trust works with thousands of people across Fylde with programmes such as Sports Camps, Holiday Clubs, Football Development courses, Over 50s Exercise sessions and supporting local schools and nurseries.
However, its work transforming the lives of the vulnerable and disadvantaged is less well known.
The dedicated Extended Services team, led by Chris McNally, work tirelessly across West Lancashire supporting those in need.
They are responsible for a diverse range of innovative programmes that aim to involve, educate, and motivate those members of the community who perhaps face greater challenges than most.
These include the nationally recognised EU social-funded programme Building Better Opportunities, the Positive Pathways rehabilitation programme and Striking Futures youth intervention programme.
The programmes focus on providing holistic intervention to help stabilise disrupted lifestyles.
The Community Foundation team work closely with the many participants, encouraging and supporting them to progress into further training and, in many cases, to find local employment.
Mentoring, health and wellbeing workshops, confidence-building sessions, one-on-one support and the promise of continued help have seen the Foundation’s team achieving remarkable success with the service users, with many lives changing beyond recognition.
Foundation Extended Services Lead Chris McNally is proud of all that his team has accomplished. It’s a relatively small team with just two additional members alongside him, but what they lack in size they make up for in determination.
He said: “Our Extended Services projects are something we take a lot of pride in here at the Foundation. They are programmes that can change peoples’ lives, providing both hope and direction for those that might have lost their way a little.
“The combination of unfailing support and the educational workshops we are able to offer for those who are vulnerable mean we are able to make a real impact.
“For some of the people we work with, it’s the first time they have had someone who believes in them and who wants to help them turn their lives around. They’ve faced all kinds of obstacles and hurdles in their lives and completely lost direction.
“We are able to show them that there is a way forward and positive outcomes can be achieved if they are willing to work with us.
“We have been able to help many into full-time employment, which is fantastic, for them and the team. I’m glad we can continue to deliver these programmes and I’m honoured that the work we do has such a positive effect on so many lives.”
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