“Our lives begin to end when we become silent about the things that really matter in life” . Dr Martin Luther King
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 over 700 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.
Despite the pandemic, we remain committed to creating the network of golf venues across the UK, and beyond, where families can come together to enjoy a happier, healthier life.
With a proven concept in the bag, a compelling track record of social impact, new venues in the pipeline, and a range of new services being co-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 cloud of COVID-19. It descended on all of us, blocking out the brighter future we had planned for hundreds more families. However, like many social enterprises, COVID-19 changed our direction of travel overnight. That said, when you have the families you support at the heart of everything you do, I call it our “social DNA” ,you quickly find a way forward, realising that your services are needed more than ever. From the shadows cast over us by COVID-19, we’re emerging stronger than ever, ready to offer more families the renewed hope and support they deserve as they emerge from lockdown.
If anything, the COVID-19 crisis has shone a 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 emerge from the longest, hardest lockdown of all, we’re more determined than ever to support families get their lives back on track at local golf venue. Not only will we be offering inspirational golf sessions, we’ll also be launching our Carers Wellbeing Events that will focus on supporting unpaid carers to recover from lockdown.
Since we began our mission six 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. 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 my story as a social entrepreneur, here’s a recent interview I conducted 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 support more families facing challenges later in life.
In the words of Walt Disney “If you can dream it, you can do it” and we’re dreaming big!
Anthony Blackburn – Founder