The three finalists for the inaugural Albion in the Community Award have been decided.
Callum Budd, Callum Ronald and Keith and Darren Gallis and Seagull Travel (listed in alphabetical order) received the highest numbers of votes of the 11 nominees.
Albion in the Community (AITC) received more than 1,000 votes for the new award and the overall winner – the nominee who got the most votes – will be announced at the end of the season.
For now the charity is only revealing the top three (again, listed in alphabetical order):
Callum Budd: Callum plays for AITC’s cerebral palsy team and has also helped fundraise for the charity as a member of the North West Sussex Seagulls – with the money he has raised helping to fund AITC’s cerebral palsy team. AITC’s disability manager, Paul Brackley, nominated Callum. He said: “Callum is a great example of someone who has embraced the opportunity to play cerebral palsy football in the national league for Brighton & Hove Albion Cerebral Palsy FC and has progressed enormously since he joined last year. He is incredibly passionate about his football – supporting and now representing the Albion. A polite, considerate and supportive team mate, Callum is a real team player.”
Callum Ronald: Callum travels from Battle to the stadium every day to attend his BTEC lessons with AITC and has not missed a day of college in two years. He is on target to achieve the highest grade possible and has also volunteered at a range of events with the charity’s fundraising department. Sarah McAdam, AITC’s BTEC manager, said: “Callum has thrived in our alternative education environment. He has worked hard to improve his knowledge, understanding and application in both futsal and 11-a-side football and is now a regular feature in teams across both formats. He would be a worthy winner.”
Keith and Darren Gallis and Seagull Travel: Seagull Travel is a big supporter of AITC and its work. The company has made a sizeable donation to the charity in support of its new amputee football team and its customers are encouraged to make donations when booking travel. Keith is also instrumental in running the match day lotteries that contribute to AITC and has helped organise a fundraising event at the Theatre Royal. Phil Baldwin, AITC’s head of finance and operations, said: “Seagull Travel is an excellent example of the valuable support we receive from local businesses and Keith and Darren regularly go above and beyond in the help they offer the charity.”
The overall winner will be announced before the end of the season.
Matt Dorn, chief executive officer at AITC, said: “As a charity we work with more than 30,000 people every year so every single one of the 11 nominees should be incredibly proud of the fact they were short-listed.
“Thank you to everyone who voted and congratulations to Callum, Callum and Keith and Darren for making the final three. That is a fantastic achievement.”