Derby County has been named the Johnstone’s Paint Community Club of the Year at The Football League Awards 2015.Simon Carnall, Head of Derby County Community Trust, received the award at the gala ceremony at The Brewery, London, on Sunday evening in front of over 600 guests from clubs, sponsors and the football industry.
The Football League Awards 2015 mark the 10th year of the awards, which celebrate on and off pitch excellence across The League’s 72 clubs. This year all 72 clubs were nominated for at least one award.
Derby County had made the shortlist after being named the Midlands regional winner, and beat off competition from Blackburn Rovers (North West Winner), Doncaster Rovers (Yorkshire & North East Winner), Norwich City (East Winner) and Brighton & Hove Albion (South Winner) to claim the overall Johnstone’s Paint Community Club of the Year Award.
Through Derby County’s community programme it is clear it recognises the ability it has as a club to engage people, raise hopes and aspirations and improve the lives of the people of Derbyshire. The club’s community trust is committed to ensuring that it meets local needs while working strategically in line with regional and national agendas. In 2014 the scheme ran 50 projects and reached more than 30,000 participants, with its flagship Derby City School Sport Partnership project helping to increase participation for young people in the community.
This category recognises the community schemes that have best demonstrated success at engaging with the local community in the 2014 calendar year. The shortlist was comprised of five regional winners of the award. In deciding the overall winner, judges considered the objectives of the scheme, breadth of delivery, innovation, impact and achievements as well as the leading individual project from the last 12 months.
On winning the award, Simon Carnall said: "It's huge for the football club, from the owners to the chief operators to the board of trustees. Everyone in the Derby County Community Trust are so proud to be here tonight to win this award. Derby is a football city and when the team are doing well, the city is doing well so it really helps us with what we're doing at the trust."
The Johnstone’s Paint Community Club of the Year Award is managed by the Football League Trust. The Trust brings a national perspective to the work of the 72 community trusts based Football League clubs, sharing ideas and best practise to enable football to be a real catalyst for change in many different ways.
Together this network engages with over a million people a year, using the unique connection football clubs have with local people to deliver projects under the key themes of Sport, Health, Education and Inclusion that positively affect lives in communities across England and Wales.
Shaun Harvey, Chief Executive of The Football League, said: "The 10th Football League Awards has given us the opportunity to reward outstanding performance, both on and off the pitch, during what has been a memorable Football League season.
"Each of our winners thoroughly deserves this recognition and, once again, we've seen exceptional levels of talent, dedication and achievement across all our nominees."
The Football League Awards 2015 were streamed live on The Football League's official YouTube channel and website, while highlights will be shown on Sky Sports 1 on Monday evening at 6:15pm and 9:15pm.
To find out more about The Football League Awards, and for a full list of Award categories, please visit www.FLAwards.com or search for #FLAwards on Twitter, and other social media.