MFC Foundation accepted the club’s EFL Checkatrade North East & Yorkshire Community Club of the Year Award at yesterday’s showcase event at the House of Commons in London.
The awards are designed to recognise the best performing club community trusts around the country, as well as some of the key individuals associated to the projects, whether that be in a participating or coaching capacity.
Following an application process open to all 72 EFL clubs, Blackburn Rovers, Portsmouth, Charlton Athletic, Bristol City, Derby County and Middlesbrough were all celebrated for their innovative and ground-breaking work across multiple areas over the past year.
The evening, sponsored by Andrew Griffiths MP, was hosted by broadcaster Colin Murray with EFL Chairman Ian Lenagan and Sports Minister Tracey Crouch just some of those to acknowledge the work of not only the six regional winners, but the club trusts across the EFL.
MFC Foundation’s ‘Stepping Up’ programme was highlighted as a key factor in Middlesbrough’s successful application, with the transition-based project providing a positive catalyst to better prepare children stepping up from primary to secondary school.
Speaking at the event, Head of Foundation, Helena Bowman said: “We are very proud both as a Foundation, and as part of the football club, to be recognised for our hard work across the local community in Middlesbrough.
“Every project we witnessed has made such a tremendous impact in their respective regions, and to be a part of this celebration today was truly humbling.
“Stepping Up has gone from strength to strength since the programme was implemented, as we have continued to expand our reach to other areas of Teesside.
“We would like to thank the EFL Trust for such an excellent opportunity to showcase our project, and Middlesbrough Council for their continued support of Stepping Up.”
Chairman of the EFL, Ian Lenagan added: “It is a fitting environment for recognising excellence and we are here today to celebrate the outstanding work and impact that EFL clubs and their Trusts make on a daily basis, seven days a week, 365 days a year in communities nationwide.
“Football clubs have a special role in society, with a unique ability to make a positive impact on the lives of millions of supporters in so many ways.
“There is no other outlet or collective that can deliver the scale of activity we see from our network of clubs across so many important areas – whether it’s innovative and groundbreaking work across inclusion, charitable causes, community engagement, education and health – it is football that delivers.”
The overall Checkatrade Community Club of the Year winner will be unveiled at the EFL Awards, taking place at The Hilton on Park Lane, London, on 15th April.