Northampton Town Community Trust has won the European Football for Development Network's (EFDN), More than Football Award 2022.
The award honours the best social initiatives in sport across Europe, delivered by a European football Club, League or FA.
Developed by the Northampton Town Community Trust, the Tackling Loneliness project was initially developed during the first Covid-19 lockdown supports older fans who may be at risk of loneliness or isolation brought about by COVID-19 and government lockdowns. It has supported 1210 people aged 50+ to reduce feeling of loneliness and improve their mental health and well-being.
The impact it has been made is wide reaching, with the project has reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation, helping develop new friendships and improve people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Club Chairman Kelvin Thomas said he was "exceptionally proud" after winning the award.
The attending Member Clubs at the conference voted the Cobblers’ project as the best, ahead of other finalists FC Twente, Newcastle United, and Athletic Club de Bilbao.
On the victory, Thomas said: "We are so, so proud.
"To win the national Planet League award on Monday was great, but to win this European wide award is simply unbelievable.
"A huge well done to Phill Smith and all of the staff at the Northampton Town Community Trust as well as Scott Desborough and all of the Trustees for their work and the difference they make to so many lives. This particular project was a club wide effort and I am so, so proud of everyone involved.”
A longlist of 10 clubs was initially announced which included many European teams such as Juventus FC, VFL Wolfsburg, SV Werder Bremen, Fundación Alcoraz of SD Huesca, Feyenoord Rotterdam and Falkirk FC Foundation.
That list was then trimmed to our four finalists who were invited to present their project during the 18th Conference in Budapest. The finalists were assessed not only on the quality of the project but also on the level of promotion and engagement.
In addition to receiving recognition for having implemented the most innovative and impactful Community and Social Responsibility programme in European football, Northampton Town Community Trust have also won a complete Mini-Pitch System™ modular sports solution.
The club-branded mini-pitch will be developed in partnership with the winning organisation, EFDN and Musco.