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EFL Community Awards winners celebrated at Grosvenor House Hotel

24 April 2022

EFL Community Awards winners were honoured at this evening's EFL Awards 2022, with three overall winners announced on the night, following the celebration earlier in the week.

After winning the regional award for London, AFC Wimbledon were named the Your Move Community Club of the Season.

The Club's significant volunteering numbers and scale of impact in the community made it a clear winner in this category with 850 local people volunteering on its projects over the last year. 

Maddi Sweetman, a Community Coach for the Club's Foundation, accepted the award on behalf of the Club, who were crowned the overall winners.

"It feels like something that we've known that the volunteers and everyone involved in our Club deserves but something we never thought we'd get, especially because we see other Clubs doing such large-scale projects," she said.

"Within our budget and just coming back to the stadium, it's hard to get things up and running straight away to put an old system in a new structure, but we've managed to get it going and managed to help the local community.

"It's brilliant that we've managed to get the award in the first year that we've really been out there creating the action projects."

Next up, Burton Albion were recognised as the EFL Community Project of the Season for their success in supporting the NHS at the Burton Albion Vaccination Centre.

During the pandemic more than 200,000 vaccinations have been carried out – marking a major undertaking for the Club.

Matt Hancock, Head of Community for Burton Albion, explained: "It's great because we're able to celebrate with so many people that allowed the vaccination centre to happen. We've got two tables tonight so we were hoping something might happen.

"It's two-and-a-half-years of really hard work. That's the bit that's overwhelming. It's not just about the vaccination, it's been about working in our community with the most vulnerable and supporting those that needed us when they needed us most.

"The Football Club and the Community Trust have always been about that."

Charlton Athletic's Ryan Inniss followed up his divisional accolade by scooping the PFA Players in the Community Award, after winning the accolade for the Sky Bet League One earlier in the month.

Jason Morgan, Chief Executive of the Charlton Athletic Community Trust, and Tracey Leaburn, Head of First Team Player Care at Charlton, were representing the defender at the ceremony.

"He's had a tough life as a person but he's turned that around and he wants to give back to the community, which is where he's become heavily involved in Jason's Community Trust events," Leaburn explained.

Morgan added: "I've been at the Club a long time. What the players do within the community is a different class. It comes from the top and it comes from the manager. There's an expectation that that's what they need to do.

"Ryan's the kind of character that has had his challenges. He can relate to a lot of programmes that we run and he can relate to a lot of the individuals that we've got working with us. He just wants to reach out and support them. He will come and find us and say, 'what have you got going on. What can I get involved in?' He'll come up with things himself, too."

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