Blackpool FC Community Trust column: Helping one of our residents inside and out

Blackpool Coastal Housing referred Ronald, a 94-year-old gentleman, to Blackpool FC Community Trust last August as part of our ‘Tackling Loneliness Together’ project.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 12:30 pm

It meant we were able to offer Ronald weekly phone calls, garden gate visits and online social groups.

From our introductory phone call with Ronald, it was fascinating to learn about his days in the armed forces and as a ballroom dancing champion.

For our first garden gate visit with Ronald on his birthday, we were supported by external partners, Blackpool Coastal Housing and British Red Cross, and we were able to take balloons and gifts round.

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A tidier garden helps Ronald to spend more time outside over summer
A tidier garden helps Ronald to spend more time outside over summer

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Following on from that, Ronald received weekly phone calls, which further evolved to weekly Skype calls, accompanied by Blackpool Coastal Housing.

Thanks to the amazing support we received from external partners, Blackpool Coastal Housing referred another gentleman, Jack, to us.

Jack had also served in the armed forces and shared Ronald’s passion for ballroom dancing.

We initially introduced Jack and Ronald via phone conversations, which was fantastic.

This soon progressed to Skype calls, enabling them to see each other on a weekly basis.

Later in the year, BFCCT co-ordinated a campaign for Christmas Day, when staff volunteered to visit Tackling Loneliness Together participants who would not otherwise see or speak to anyone all day.

Thanks to local businesses and schools, we were able to deliver cards and gifts.

Ronald was a participant whom we visited and he was delighted to see us.

This year, staff volunteered to deliver Easter eggs and spend time with participants on Easter Sunday. It was a pleasure to visit him again on this day too.

While BFCCT and Blackpool Coastal Housing continued to support Ronald, we sadly discovered that his garden was seriously overgrown.

This upset him as he was unable to sit out in the garden on nice days.

We teamed up with NCS and Redeeming Our Communities to tidy Ronald’s garden, enabling him to enjoy more time outside.

Nathan Davies, Community Engagement Team Leader at BFCCT, said: “We are so grateful that ROC and our NCS team were able to come out and tidy Ronald’s garden for him.

“This shows how huge the impact can be when services come together to support the wider community.

“To see the smile on Ronald’s face at the change in his garden made it all worthwhile. I cannot wait have garden gate visits with Ron and sit out in his garden with him.”

For more information about Blackpool FC Community Trust call 01253 348 691, visit www.bfcct.co.uk or follow BFCCT on social media.

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