Happy New Year from #TeamFoundation

Like most, we have had a turbulent year, but 2020 wasn’t without its successes also. Before the clock chimes to bring in a new year at midnight on December 31st, we wanted to take the time to reflect on some of the highlights of 2020. The real highlight was the resilience shown by education establishments around the country, to stay open through the first lockdown and support keyworkers across Lincolnshire. Our post 16 Education Team transitioned into virtual learning seamlessly, from the moment we locked down, allowing our year 13s to complete their BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport to the best of their ability. This also meant that Lincoln City Foundation staff were out supporting schools to deliver PE and keep children active. We know the benefits that sport has on our mental and physical health and this has very much come to the fore in 2020. Christmas is always a special time in schools, and we are glad that students and teachers have been able to enjoy this period together. We now look forward to supporting our schools in 2021 and continuing those special relationships with staff and children.

In Summer we were able to engage with young people through our NCS programme and support the local community with projects to tackle loneliness and raise funds for the Move for Meals campaign. The young people engaged with Lincoln City FC season ticket holders and raised over £200 running 180K on the hottest day of this year. The young people had a positive experience, and many are still engaging with local action groups to continue to support communities and local charities. We continued to engage with 5 schools and colleges for our Autumn NCS Programme and worked with over 100 young people on both face-to-face and virtual programmes. It has been a fantastic opportunity to explore new ways to deliver NCS and all have had positive feedback regardless of the delivery style. Throughout 2020 the importance of ‘community’ has undoubtedly become more apparent as we have all found ourselves staying in the same neighbourhoods for longer periods of time. For some, this meant having to rely upon people, who up until this point may have been relative strangers, for help. Our Community Organisers adapted to form a Community Response Team for the Sincil Bank area working with Lincolnshire Co-Op, and during the lockdown weeks completed over 60 shopping deliveries, over 30 prescriptions collections and supported many other needs of those shielding or self-isolating. This has helped us form new, trusting relationships with local people and embedded the Foundation further in the Sincil Bank neighbourhood.

Likewise, as a Foundation we had to adapt in order to be able to support our network of older adults during the pandemic, whilst also expanding to deliver the EFLT funded Tackling Loneliness Together project, to reach new people experiencing loneliness or at risk of becoming lonely. Loneliness has been an emotion talked about more openly during 2020, and the Foundation is proud to have been part of raising this awareness. Over 750 telephone conversations have been had, as well as garden gate visits, monthly activity packs, virtual coffee mornings, health walks, tennis and aikido sessions, and green space workouts. A particular highlight was being able to surprise Malcolm – a passionate Lincoln City fan – with a garden gate visit from first-team player Harry Anderson, it truly made his year. We ended the year with an amazing Christmas Extravaganza! Each child received a goody bag as a Christmas present, and we were fortunate to be supported by JTF Warehouse to give every child drinks and snacks on each day. We were also supported by the Premier League so that children who were on free school meals received a meal on each day as well. It was so special to end the year in such a warm atmosphere and to allow children to make memories that will last a lifetime. We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone who has engaged with us this year, either through one of our programmes or with offers of support, a Happy New Year. We hope that 2021 sees a return to a world in which we all recognise and with it a newfound appreciation for the little things in life we may have taken for granted before. Happy New Year from Team Foundation.

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