Thank you for taking the time to find out more about our social mission. The best way to truly understand the difference we make to people’s lives, is to listen to what the families we support have to say about us.
The story began five years. From a very dark place and crossroads in my own life, the idea for Golf in Society was born. Inspired by my father’s love of sport, who sadly passed away 12 years ago, I got to thinking that there must be lots of people like my dad, who just need a little encouragement to keep enjoying sport, especially golf, later in life.
With the fond memories of my dad, the unconditional support of my mum, and a small grant fund from UnLtd , I decided to put my social mission to the test. The rest, as they say is history. Since then we’ve supported families living with dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke, loneliness and depression, discover how golf can play an important part in their life.
The next video gives you an insight into the positive impact we had on the lives of families living with dementia during our test phase.
With a track record of delivering 600+ golf sessions behind us, and a burning desire to make golf more accessible, more often to more families across the UK, our social mission is on track to play an integral part in encouraging our nation to enjoy a healthier, happier life for longer.
This video, taken at one of our new venues in Scotland, shows how much happiness and sense of purpose we generate for our members.
As we head towards 2021, our social mission is clear, to create a network of golf venues across the UK, and beyond, where families can come together to improve their health and wellbeing at their local golf club.
With a proven concept in the bag, a compelling track record of social impact, six new venues in the pipeline, and a range of new support services being designed ready for Spring, the next chapter of our social story is set to be even more inspirational and rewarding than the ones that have gone before.
However, I cannot move on without mentioning the dark chapters of COVID-19. It descended on all of us, blocking out the ray of hope we were creating for our families as our golf sessions were forced to close down. However, like many social enterprises COVID-19 changed our direction of travel overnight. However, when you have the families that you support at the heart of everything you do, I call it your “social DNA” ,you quickly find a way forward because you realise that your support is needed more than ever. From the shadows cast over us by COVID-19, we’ve emerged stronger than ever, ready to offer more families renewed hope in the year ahead.
If anything, the COVID-19 crisis has shone an even brighter spotlight on the fragility of adult care support, especially for families locked down with dementia. We’re proud to say that we’ve kept connected with all our golfing families during the crisis, support that has proved to be a lifeline for them.
As we head into a Winter of lockdown and social isolation, we are more determined than ever to be there for the families we support, helping them get through the challenges that lay ahead. That’s why, behind the scenes, we’re working harder than ever to get families through the Winter so they can look forward to a Spring full of hope.
Since we began our mission five years ago, we’ve faced many challenges and barriers, some of which at times seemed insurmountable. However, we’ve always managed to find a way forward for our social mission. This is why social enterprises have such an important part to play in the healthy ageing space. I passionately believe that the road to a happier, healthier ageing nation has to be led by social enterprises and their innovative solutions.
To give you an insight into the social entrepreneur part of my story, I’ve decided to share a recent an interview I did with Helen Crampin from Innovate UK. I hope it helps you get a sense of my passionate belief, that if we’re serious as a nation about social change, then social enterprises need to be positioned at the heart of it.
So, as the world contemplates how to build a happier, healthier, brighter future for everyone in society (especially post-COVID-19), we’re ready and willing to play our part.
I hope our story has inspired you to reach out, and help us create even more happier endings to the lives of the families we support.
In the words of Walt Disney “If you can dream it, you can do it” and we’re dreaming big!
Anthony Blackburn – Founder