I felt a sense of pride being invited to join Burton Albion Community Trust members at the Pirelli Stadium recently. The event itself was a little like the Trusts very own Brit awards given the guest list! Local school children, the Police, the PFA, health practitioners, teachers and many of the towns business leaders, alongside the odd MP and the Major helped create quite an atmosphere in the packed out suite! The purpose of the event was to celebrate the Trusts strategy launch.
The Executive Summary of the report here.
The event provided an opportunity for all of the town to come together and reflect on the progress made by the Trust since Burton Albion FC gained promotion! It was Mike Evans (General Manager of the Football League Trust – right) who recounted the giant strides undertaken by Burton Albion FC from promotion to League Football to the development of the Trust and so much work for social good. Andy Taylor (the Trusts Community Manager – below) commented:
“To give you an idea of our progression, in January 2011, we were delivering sessions to three schools for 11 hours a week, in January 2012, it was eight schools and 36 hours a week. Now in 2013 we deliver to 25 schools for 90 hours, with 1,500 participants a week across East Staffordshire.”
Andy was quick to stress that the Trust wasn’t just about numbers and highlighted his work with us and the University of Derby, as an integral part of the operation moving forward. Highlighting the Trust commitments to research and evaluation. The short video below highlights some of the work undertaken by the Trust to date.
As they day unfolded the Trust received acclaim from many including Ron Clarke (who represents the Burton Town division on Staffordshire County Council) who provided context on positive changes in the town thanks to the Trusts work tackling racism. Before MP Andrew Griffiths (right pic) took to the stage.
It wasn’t long before the banter started from Andrew, most of which was aimed at the “gaffer” ahead of the weekends game, along with a number of first team players. On a serious note, Andrew highlighted the “special way” the Trust can engage and impact in the local community, that politicians and police cannot.
This is very much an exciting time for Burton Albion Community Trust. Whilst it should have been a million miles away from the ‘glitz and glam’ of the Premier League community programmes, the first rate hospitality, genuine community spirit and the desire to collaborate by local people, created an event that was so much more. This is something I am very fortunate and proud to be part of.