Blackpool FC Community Trust column: Armed Forces football and supporting the LGBTQ+ community

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With support from the Armed Forces Covenant Trust and The Veterans’ Foundation, BFCCT’s Armed Forces football team played in the second annual Penwortham charity football tournament.

Funds were raised this year for Andy’s Man Club, a charity set up to spread awareness of mental health and suicide prevention.

Many teams from all over Lancashire took part, featuring a Group A derby between Blackpool Therapy FC and BFCCT Vets.

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A hard-fought game with two goals from veteran Jason Nuttall helped us finish third in the group.

Brett Ormerod with the Blackpool FC Community Trust Armed Forces football teamBrett Ormerod with the Blackpool FC Community Trust Armed Forces football team
Brett Ormerod with the Blackpool FC Community Trust Armed Forces football team

One particular team, Darwen Vets, set the pitch on fire as they had a myriad of former professional footballers.

They included Brett Ormerod, who took time out for a chat and photograph with our team, though it was Penwortham Saint Gerrard’s Vets who won the competition overall.

Throughout the week, BFCCT delivers numerous sessions aimed at our local Armed Forces community.

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Forces Football takes place on Thursday evenings at our new Aspire Sports Hub on Garstang Road, while we also hold weekly walk and talks as well as coffee mornings.

BFCCT has also recognised that work needs to be developed in terms of the LGBTQ+ community.

The Stonewall Rainbow Laces Campaign is an annual initiative in which we have taken part to support raising visibility for LGBTQ+ people in sports and awareness of experiences on and off the pitch.

The Trust now wants to raise awareness as well as offer opportunities and support all year round by developing an LGBTQ+ provision.

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Thanks to new funding as part of the Active Through Football project, which we refer to as ‘Move More’, we have now been able to develop this area of work and create a sustainable plan for new provision.

Since attending Summer Pride 2022 and Winter Pride 2023, our team has evaluated consultation from attendees to better understand how we can support the LGBTQ+ community going forward.

In addition, BFCCT staff members attended Allies meetings to speak with more of the LGBTQ+ community.

Based on feedback, several meetings have taken place to discuss how Blackpool FC and Blackpool FC Community Trust can support the LGBTQ+ community so members feel safe and supported.

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It has been important to spread the right message of genuine support, hosting provision that people have requested and shown an interest in.

We have established a want for more physical activity within the LGBTQ+ community and highlighted a specific interest in football.

That being the case, BFCCT is launching its first LGBTQ+ football session on Monday, June 19 at the Aspire Sports Hub (7pm-8pm).

The session is designed to be for members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies. Everyone is welcome, regardless of their ability, and we hope to see you there.

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Seb Draper, Active Through Football manager, said: “We have been developing this area of work for over a year now, so our very first LGBTQ+ session starting later this month is really exciting.

“We have done several consultation events such as Pride events, allies’ meetings and face-to-face consultation with members of the LGBTQ+ community and, from this, we have developed the session.

“We would love to see as many people as possible from the LGBTQ+ community and its allies attend the sessions.”

For more information about BFCCT and its activities, call 01253 348691,visit: or follow us on social media.