Albion in the Community (AITC) will be recognised in Parliament after the charity’s work saw Brighton & Hove Albion named South East Checkatrade Community Club of the Year.
It is the second season in a row that AITC, the Seagulls’ official charity, has won the south east section of the community club category at the EFL Awards.
And AITC will now join the five other regional winners at the House of Commons on Monday 6 March to receive its award. The overall winner will then be announced at the EFL Awards on Sunday 9 April.
The six regional winners were selected by an independent judging panel including: The Times’ chief football writer, Henry Winter; football policy advisor at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sam Haylen; director of CSR at the PFA, John Hudson; and Sport England’s strategic lead for relationships, Greg Clements.
AITC was praised for the wide range of its work and the creativity of its programmes. The charity worked with more than 30,000 people in Sussex over the last 12 months and now runs around 60 different projects and programmes.
Shaun Harvey, EFL chief executive, said: “The announcement of the regional award winners provides a fitting tribute to the work that takes place to transform local communities through the power of football.
“All clubs, not just the winners, work tirelessly to connect with local supporters and I am delighted to see such innovative and effective ideas recognised in this way.”
EFL Trust director of operations, Mike Evans, praised the fantastic work completed by all six clubs via the work of their community trusts. He said: “Without question this was the strongest year we have ever had in terms of quality of Community Club of the Year applications, giving the judging panel some really tough decisions.
“All of our club trusts should be rightly proud of their efforts, and for the six selected clubs it’s a tremendous honour to be recognised by Parliament and to be showcased in the House of Commons.
“They are deserving winners and great ambassadors for the work of all EFL clubs in their communities across the country.”
Matt Dorn, chief executive officer at AITC, was delighted to see the charity recognised again. He said: “This award is testament to the professionalism and dedication displayed by our staff on a daily basis.
“I would also like to recognise the outstanding efforts of all the people who participate in our many programmes. Without their hard work, AITC would not be the success that it is. Really, this award is for the 30,000 people we worked with over the last year.”