Preston North End fans Laura and Carly Milner have continued to inspire over the last year whether through work or their engagement with Preston North End Community and Education Trust.
Laura and her daughter Carly participate on the Trust’s Communities United programme with their family every Monday, giving families the opportunity to meet weekly and gain an insight into the cultures and experiences of other families living in Preston.
Carly is also a member of the PNECET Wildcats programme, providing girl’s football sessions for primary school children each week, currently in a virtual capacity.
Outside of their association with Preston North End, both through the Trust and watching from the Sir Tom Finney Family Stand, Laura’s job as a district nursing sister with Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust has very much seen her in a frontline key worker role over the course of the pandemic.
Based in Blackburn with Darwen, her role is to ensure that housebound patients have holistic care provided within their own homes, providing a range of services, including cancer care, end-of-life care and much more.
Laura said: “The pandemic has put a huge strain on the district nursing service as we have continued to provide our full service, but our workload has really increased. End-of-life care has really increased and we have managed many Covid-19 end-of-life cases at home.
“Every day is currently a challenge due to the increased workload we face, staffing being one of the biggest challenges as we try to provide excellent and safe NHS care on challenging staffing numbers. Wearing full PPE for up to 12 hours a day can be very challenging as well.”
She has been proud for daughter Carly to witness her journey to working in the front-facing role.
“I really hope Carly sees me as a role model. We often discuss how if you work hard at school you can be whatever you want to be; you just have to work hard for it.
“Having done my nursing training later in life, Carly has witnessed my university journey, which was not easy, but she was very proud when I qualified. She talks highly about my job which is lovely.”
The mother-daughter duo first engaged with the Trust through Carly participating on the Wildcats programme.
Carly added: “I love wildcats and getting to meet new people and make good friends. The Zoom meetings are really good because I get to see my friends and coaches, who I miss.
“I like the challenges they set me each week. I also like learning more about the game and learning about positions. I like to play with different age groups so I can help the younger girls with their skills and the older ones can help me.”
Now Laura and Carly are engaging together on the Communities United programme.
“We are really enjoying the communities united programme. It is such a diverse group of people and we are learning a lot about each other and different cultures.
“We really look forward to our Monday night sessions as a family and always come away having learnt something new. We are very much hoping when it is possible to meet these wonderful people in person.”
Carly and Laura are PNE fans and have enjoyed watching from the welcoming atmosphere of the Sir Tom Finney Family Stand pre-pandemic, when fans were allowed to attend, but continue to support the Lilywhites from home for now.
“We love attending matches at PNE when It is possible. We also have iFollow, so we have been able to follow PNE throughout lockdown. We have all grown up as supporters due to our family also supporting the club. We usually sit in the Sir Tom Finney Family Stand, so it is a very family-orientated environment.
“We feel very comfortable attending football matches these days as it is much more common to see women and families attending. It is a good environment to be in and you feel part of a footballing community and family.”
For more information about women’s and girls’ participation at Preston North End Community and Education Trust, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.