MORE than 280 Burton Albion Community Trust (BACT) guests, staff, volunteers, trustees, partners and participants were in attendance for last night’s fourth annual community awards evening at the Pirelli Stadium.
The evening, hosted by three of BACT’s full-time staff members, Paul Furniss, Reece Brown and Chloe Broadbent, was another celebration of the work that Burton Albion Football Club’s charity arm delivers across the Burton upon Trent community, and further afield around Staffordshire.
Eight different awards were given out on the night, to participants and staff members of BACT’s wide range of projects, including football development, education and learning, football and education, inclusive sport and health and wellbeing.
The annual Project of the Year award went to BACT’s National Citizen Service (NCS) team, with employee and host on the night, Paul Furniss, taking home the top gong of the night, winning Employee of the Year. Three special recognition awards were also given out on the night, to trustee and volunteer Bob Haywood, club kit man Ray ‘Rocky’ Hudson and partner Helen Gill.
Matt Hancock, Head of Community, said: “It’s been another huge success. It’s the fourth one we’ve had and the most people that we’ve ever had in attendance. Our staff have been amazing and I thought the three presenters on the evening did a great job.
“There’s been a lot of time and effort from a lot of people behind the scenes and everything went really smoothly on the night. As well as the night being fantastic, I’m just really proud of our workforce.
“The support from everyone has been magnificent and it was great to see so many different types of people in the room on the night. People from companies and businesses, to charities, individuals and volunteers on programmes. We had everything there and it was a privilege to just sit there and listen to people talking about the community trust and what we do.
“Football and sport just has that power, for whatever reason it is, to inspire, engage and educate and you’ve seen many stories of people who have had life changing moments because of Burton Albion Football Club and community trust, which is something money can’t buy!”
Mike Evans, EFL Trust Director of Operations, was also full of praise for the evening. He said: “It was an absolutely outstanding evening. I really enjoyed the presenters and I thought it was fantastic that all the staff got involved. Rather than just hearing from one voice, we were hearing from everyone in the team, which was really good.
“They’ve (BACT) been a deserved winner of the regional community club of the year, for the last two years. I’ve known of the work of Burton Albion since they came into the Football League, as I was regional manager at the time, and I saw how the trust started on its community journey, so to look at where they are now is just absolutely incredible in such a short space of time. I think the club needs to be very, very proud of its community trust.
INSPIRING OUR COMMUNITIES – AWARDS WINNERS
STAR AWARD 1 – FOOTBALL DEVELOPENT | Winner – Mia Oakes. Presented by Fleur Robinson from Burton Albion FC.
STAR AWARD 2 – VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR | Winner – Sameeya Hussain. Presented by Michelle Horler from Pirelli.
STAR AWARD 3 – EDUCATION AND LEARNING | Winner – Danny Turner. Presented by Amrit Virk from Burton and South Derbyshire College.
STAR AWARD 4 – FOOTBALL AND EDUCATION | Winner – Megan Herbstritt. Presented by Ray Garlick & Peter Marples from Raygar Supplies.
STAR AWARD 5 – INLCUSIVE SPORT | Winner – Marvin Ceiley. Presented by Dan Johnson from ADS Accountancy.
STAR AWARD 6 – HEALTH AND WELLBEING | Winner – Andrew Forrest. Presented by Tony Brealey from Reabrook Ltd.
PROJECT OF THE YEAR | Winner – BACT National Citizen Service (NCS). Presented by Nadeem Lal from Palletforce.
EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR | Winner – Paul Furniss. Presented by Prad Mistry from Ashfield Healthcare.