Across the last ten years, Burton Albion Community Trust has raised thousands of pounds, helped thousands of people and won local and national awards. Amongst those wonderful moments, five of them stick out as significant moments in the Community Trust’s ten-year history.
Read below to find out the five biggest moments in the Trust’s history that have had major impacts on the lives of people in East Staffordshire and beyond.
African Adventures Programmes (2015-)
Back in August 2014, Burton Albion Community Trust announced they were teaming up with African Adventures to go to Ghana for seven nights in May-June 2015. The goal was to raise £20,000 for Burton Albion Community Trust, whilst supporting the African Adventures project.
Fundraising included non-uniform days at local schools such as the Pingle School (now known as the Pingle Academy). Many members of the team went out to Ghana, providing them with life-changing experiences.
Since then, African Adventures has continued to partner with the Burton Albion Community Trust ever since but unfortunately missed out on the chance to do it again this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parliament Recognition (2017)
After winning the EFL Midlands Community Club of the Year back in 2016, Burton Albion’s Community Trust won it again in 2017 but with a bonus. The Trust was recognised by Parliament ahead of the EFL awards night back in April 2017 along with five other clubs nationally.
Unfortunately, the Trust did not do enough to win the Community Club of the Year award in either year losing out to Portsmouth in 2016 and Charlton in 2017. The trust did the community proud though as once again, Burton Albion proved that they could compete with bigger clubs: both on and off the pitch.
New Man in Charge (2017)
In March 2017, Andy Taylor announced that he would be stepping down as the Head of the Community Trust and moving to Aston Villa to become their Manager of Foundation and Community Partnerships.
Matt Hancock was announced as the new Head of the Community Trust, and he had some big shoes to fill.
— Matt Hancock (@MattHank4) June 23, 2017
Katie Johnson, the Community Trusts Primary Schools manager, though believes that Matt was the best man to fill those shoes.
“It was important that the appointment was internal as they needed to know what the Trust means to all of us,” Katie believes.
“Matt, like many of us, worked under Andy for a few years, so he knew what a fantastic leader he was, and Matt has continued to provide that leadership for us since then.”
New Facilities (2017-18)
For seven and a half years, the Community Trust operated out of the Pirelli Stadium’s north and south stands. With backing from Ben Robinson, Andy Taylor applied for a grant from the Premier League and FA facilities fund in 2015 to build a 3G pitch and a football centre.
Two years later, the 3G pitch behind the Pirelli Stadium’s North Stand was opened by England manager Gareth Southgate. 11 months later, club chairman Ben Robinson and the first-team manager at the time Nigel Clough, opened the Community Trust’s state-of-the-art football centre.
— Football Foundation (@FootballFoundtn) January 26, 2018
Andrew Mansfield, the BJFL’s (Burton Junior Football League) fixture secretary, has praised the FA facilities fund and Premier League in helping younger players and new coaches start their football journey.
“It is fantastic,” Andrew said.
“The introduction of the 3G Astro means it is a lot safer than the sand pitch used prior for a lot of our clubs during the winter months.
“The BJFL also programmes U7’s games on a Saturday morning, so 32 teams and approximately 220 players play every weekend instead of constant cancellations due to waterlogged pitches.”
Dealing with a global pandemic (2020-)
Across the UK, many businesses have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic financially. Burton Albion Community Trust has been no different but has adapted to help the local community in different ways.
Matt has praised his staff and explains how the Trust has adapted during this global pandemic.
“It has been impressive the way we have reacted as a community organisation to go and deliver projects: whether it is a well-being check or a food parcel,” said Matt.
Busy week during Lockdown 2 here at the trust. @EFLTrust
📦1 Emergency parcel
🍏15 Supermarket deliveries
☎️10 Befriending calls
🍪100 boxes of biscuits delivered#BACT #BAFC #Brewers #BurtonUponTrent #LetsTalkLoneliness pic.twitter.com/Yhhmwsm6yk
— Burton Albion Community Trust (@BurtonAlbionCT) November 20, 2020
“The challenges have meant we have had to show our character, strengths and values across all five scopes of work.
“As a charity, you can not ignore the financial situation that the pandemic brings as we need to be sustainable.
“I believe we have come through these challenges and I know we are stronger as an organisation now after it.”