Every time I add to the blog I always feel disappointed that I’m not posting on a more regular basis. It’s not for the want of trying or even that I don’t have the desire. I often feel amazed at how long it’s been since my keyboard engaged in some blogging action. I guess real life rather than the virtual one we’ve all become accustomed to takes up lots of time at the Brierley Hill Project.
In March the funding for the sports sessions at the Dell Stadium came to an end. The sessions are delivered in partnership with Pure Sports and Chawn Hill Church and have been highly valued by a large number of young people with between 60 and 80 of them turning up on a Friday evening to play sport. It’s an amazing example of what can happen when passionate coaches and a fabulous state of the art facility becomes accessible to local young people. The funding made it possible for young local people to use the facility for free. Jen also addressed the issue for young people unable to afford the correct footwear for the 3D pitch by setting up a ‘boot room’ loan scheme. Just think about it for a minute – that many young people playing together, physically present in the same space keeping fit and active together. Amazing. Part of the plan for the funding was to ensure that some young people completed their junior coaching award and for others to participate in FA training – this provides an opportunity for the sessions to be sustainable to some degree, increasing motivation of the young people to give back by supporting the sessions as nominated responsible persons. On an individual basis the training also provides opportunity for the young people to be involved in sport in the future. Everyone’s a winner! The good news is that Pure Sport have agreed to fund additional coaching time so we can run to the end of Summer Term and with the generosity of other individuals we are able to fund the cost of the venue. Jen has put together an application to continue funding the sessions for another year; we are hopeful this will be successful. Jen also applied for the StreetMark. This has been awarded to the Brierley Hill Project for 3 years and will allow us to access other opportunities available through StreetGames.
Aside from the fun stuff the role we have in others’ lives is seriously tough because they are in tough situations; we are with many of them for the long haul and see the best and the worst of life events. In the last few months we have witnessed the joy of seeing broken relationships reconciled; people getting to know each other once again, finding resolution, a situation we never dared dream of has happened – on the reverse side of the coin we’ve felt the sadness of others torn apart by the power of addiction and the anger and aggression the addiction has brought with it.
Whatever the challenge we are fortunate to be able to call on volunteers with the skills, ability and willingness to support people who need it most to help them make things they want to achieve possible. This is the power of transformation in people’s lives and happens when people who have a desire for change have others along side them, cheering them on, fighting their corner and helping them to move on. All of our volunteers are fantastic however a special thank you goes to Vicky for providing her expertise and to Anne for supporting and providing encouragement and know how when needed.
Now for a final piece of good news. Maz one of our foodbank volunteers has seen the need and responded by forming Brierley Hill Babybank which provides families needing extra support with essential baby items during pregnancy and continuing until the child is aged 2 years.
Brierley Hill Babybank takes donations of new and hardly used items and is also supported by the National Childbirth Trust. Initially referrals to the service come from the family nurse partnership. Pack number 10 has recently been prepared and delivered to a new mum. Congratulations to all!