A delegation from Charlton Athletic and Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) were invited to a reception in Parliament recently, alongside the five other regional EFL Community Club of the Year award winners.
Charlton were named London Checkatrade Community Club of the Year, and representatives from the club and CACT attended the House of Commons reception that was hosted by broadcaster Colin Murray and attended by Sports Minister Tracey Crouch MP.
Judges, who marked applications on social impact and each club’s showcase projects, awarded special praise to the work that has seen CACT Invicta FC (CIFC) become the first LGBTQI+ friendly football team affiliated to a professional club’s community trust.
CIFC train and play home matches at the club’s Sparrows Lane training ground and recently won the London Unity League in their first season affiliated to Charlton. Their model has already been replicated by Norwich City’s Proud Canaries FC.
Charlton will join the other finalists in Central London on Sunday, April 15th, when the national EFL Community Club of the Year winner will be announced.
Jason Morgan MBE, CACT’s Chief Executive, said: “Last year was a landmark year for CACT: we celebrated our 25th anniversary since the launch of Charlton’s community scheme with a series of fundraising events, published our first organisation-wide impact report that found our work has a social value of over £31 million; and were proud to be the first Community Trust in the country to formally affiliate an LGBTQI+ friendly football team.
“CACT is delighted to be the London Community Club of the Year Regional Winner for 2018, in recognition of these and other achievements as well as the hard work and dedication of all our staff.”
Shaun Harvey, the EFL’s Chief Executive, said: “EFL Clubs are based in the heart of communities up and down the country, often in some of the most disadvantaged areas.
“It’s important that we recognise the clubs that have gone that extra mile to make a real difference to the community they represent, which is why the announcement of the Checkatrade Community Club of the Year regional winners is a fitting tribute to the excellent and innovative work that takes place.”