Thursday 28th September was a momentous occasion at Pride Park Stadium. Over 200 people were in attendance for the first ever Derby County Community Trust Awards Evening, which was filled with celebration, elation and even at times, emotion, as DCCT showcased the work that they have done throughout the local community over the past year. 

Staff, partners and associates of the Trust made up the audience, along with club chairman Mel Morris, manager Gary Rowett and Club Ambassadors Roy McFarland, Michael Johnson & Marc Edworthy.

The night started with a warm welcome from Head of Community Simon Carnall, before guests sat down to a three-course meal. Awards were interspersed between courses, giving staff and special guest the chance to showcase the fantastic work of winners over the past year.

Videos, photos and special presentations were shown throughout to expand on each award, giving the audience more of an insight into the hard work that takes place on a day to day basis for all involved with the Trust.

One highlight included a personal story from Club Ambassador Michael Johnson on how the Community Trust had helped him and his family in recent times.

Manager Gary Rowett and Chairman Mel Morris, both local to Derby, each spoke of the importance of the football club being a part of the community; highlighting the fantastic work of the Community Trust.

Rams manager Gary Rowett said: “Listening to some of the stories tonight, we’ve heard that the community trust work with kids from 3-years-old up to having activities for 98-year-olds. It just shows the vast spectrum of things a football club can affect and the community trust is a massive part of that.

“I’ve lived in the community for 23 years now and have seen first-hand how some of those projects can really help people and make this city an inclusive one.”

He added: “A football club gets judged based on results in terms of how successful it is but I think sometimes you have to look past that as well and see the good work that goes on behind the scenes by these kind of people, some amazing projects that are really quite inspiring.”

Head of the Community Simon Carnall said: “The trust is all about using and utilising the brand of the football club to improve people’s lives, this is a football city and county with Derby County Football Club right at the heart of it. We are absolutely privileged to work at a football club that gets the role it has in the local community.

“Tonight is all about showcasing the work of the trust. We wanted, through the awards, to show people what we do. All the winners have equally incredible stories and we hope people leave here and not only think ‘wow, that’s what they do’ but also think about how they could help us by linking in with our network, potentially funding some of the work or becoming advocates of the community trust.”


Community Champion, presented by Simon Carnall, Head of Community at Derby County Community Trust – Winner was Neil Bennett

Disability Champion, presented by Derby County manager Gary Rowett – winner was Holbrook School for Autism

Health Champion, presented by Derby County Ambassador Michael Johnson – winner was Marek Hyde.

Inclusion Champion, presented by Ewa Van De Schootbrugge and Vanessa Thomas from Metropolitan – winner was Jonah Anderson.

Premier League Primary Stars Champion, presented by Derby County Ambassador Marc Edworthy – winner was Milford Primary School.

Education Champion, presented by Emma Hibbert from Bowmer and Kirkland – winner was Thomas Hodges.

Programme of the Year, presented by Community Manager Paul Newman – winner was Active Choices.

Derby City SSP Champion, presented by Adam Brown from TTS – winner was Owen Inger.

NCS Champion, presented by Michelle Payne from Warwick House – winner was James Heesom.

NCS Grad of the Year, presented by Community Manager Paul Newman – winner was Katie Desmond.

Employee of the Year, presented by Stephen Pearce from Derby County Football Club – winner was Richard Mansfield.

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