Blackburn Rovers Community Trust are proud to make a genuine difference to everyday lives.
That's something that readers of their newly-published Impact Report - released for the first time on Monday - will witness in abundance, with individuals, families and groups all having their own stories to tell of how their work has made a positive impact.
One of those stories came from the words of Rovers supporter Joanne Prince, who takes huge comfort from the support that the organisation offers to her family as she aims to care for three children on her own; including having to take a number of medical conditions into consideration.
Her case study is our final look into the lives of people within our area who are proud to talk up the Community Trust's efforts, and it is reproduced in full here as a taster for what you'll find if you can take the time to read the publication in full and discover why everyone at Ewood Park is so delighted to be associated with this valuable work.
When local radio station 2BR asked us to nominate a suitable candidate for their ‘Lives In Lancashire’ feature, we knew that Joanne Prince and her family would be the ideal subjects of their showcase.
They asked for an example of a person or family who had enjoyed great benefit from our work, so immediately we thought of the mum of three who volunteered to paint a superb crowd scene inside the Blackburn Rovers Community Trust Family Stand as her way of repaying her gratitude for the support we’ve been able to offer her over several years.
“Three and a half years ago, my son Logan started at the Community Trust’s football camp,” explained the Accrington-based season ticket holder.
“He had been diagnosed with diabetes just a year or two before, so bringing him along was a big deal for me, as I’d never left him on his own before and I had to leave him for eight hours a day with complete strangers.
“It was quite scary, but the coaches were fantastic. They all got trained up with all they need to know about his care, and they’ve been amazing with him. They’ve gone above and beyond my expectations and become part of the family now!
“For the first two years he had the condition, I never left his side, but the camp was something that he wanted to do and you can’t stop them doing it. He loved it straight away and it has given him so much more confidence and freedom.
“From the football camp, he has now gone on to being part of the development centre, every week for the past three years, and more recently Premier League Kicks. My daughters have also started playing, and they have become part of the girls’ player development centre, so they train or play three or four times a week.
“It has not only given the kids something to do, it has also given me a break, because my daughter has also got epilepsy, so even just the odd hours here and there from looking after them gives me that little bit of rest that I need. I’d be lost without the staff, I really would.”
When a plain wall in the Community Trust’s exciting new GAME Room needed to be transformed into something altogether more engaging, talented artist Joanne was more than willing to make it happen, detailing her reason for wanting to doing so:
“It’s the support they give and also not being stuck inside, because people do tend to abandon you when you’ve got a child with a condition. It’s the strangers or the people you didn’t really know at places like Rovers that get you through, all thanks to a shared passion.”