The EFL will today celebrate the inaugural winners of the Community Project of the Year Award at the Houses of Parliament.
Introduced for the first time in 2020, the award will recognise an EFL Club from each division for their outstanding work in delivering a specific project that has a positive impact on areas such as health and wellbeing, education, and diversity and inclusion.
Charlton Athletic Community Trust’s Crime Reduction Project has earned the accolade for the Championship. The project aims to tackle anti-social behaviour and youth violence, and has had a significant impact on over 2,000 young people in their local area.
In League One, Portsmouth FC’s ReFit project received the award for the sport and education opportunities it provides to allow vulnerable adults in the city to improve their lives, skills and qualifications.
‘Mind Your Head’, Cambridge United’s mental health programme for secondary school students, is selected for the Community Project of the Year in League Two. The project has engaged with over 1,000 students and improved mental health literacy amongst all participants, tackling one of society’s biggest issues.
These worthy winners give an indication of the variety of outstanding work being delivered by CCOs in EFL communities across England and Wales.
The 2020 divisional winners for Community Project of the Year are listed below alongside details of their showcase community projects:
Project of the Year
Championship – Charlton Athletic
- In response to an increase in serious youth violence in the delivery areas of Charlton Athletic Community Trust, the Club launched the Crime Reduction Project, to reduce anti-social and criminal behaviour in the area. The project has had a significant impact on over 2,000 young people since launching, with over 350 involved in one-to-one mentoring, over 670 supported by introducing them to sport and physical activity and over 1,000 engaged due to emerging problems or concerns. Of those engaged, many individuals have since moved into education, employment, training or volunteering; many experiencing a stronger connection to friends and family and there has also been a reduction in criminal behaviour.
League One – Portsmouth FC
- ReFit is a project delivered by Pompey in the Community in partnership with the Society of St James, offering free daily activities to vulnerable adults in the city, affected by complex issues involving drugs and alcohol misuse, mental health or homelessness. The programme uses sporting activities alongside education, to promote a healthier way of living and provide participants with relevant skills and qualifications to improve their lives. In its first two years, the project has impacted over 600 participants.
League Two – Cambridge United
- Cambridge United Community Trust’s ‘Mind Your Head’ programme caught the judge’s attention for the unique way they have used the power of the Club badge to reach out to young people and share the importance of mental health. The programme, which was delivered to over 1,000 secondary school students, has improved mental health literacy across a number of schools in the area and has been recognised on a national level by the ‘all-party parliamentary group for a fit and healthy childhood.’
The three Clubs will be honoured and receive their awards at the House of Commons on Monday 2 March.
The overall winner of the 2020 Community Project of the Year will be announced at the EFL Awards on Sunday 19 April in central London.