Carlisle United scoop prestigious awards at the CN Group Business Awards DinnerCarlisle United scooped two awards at this year’s CN Group Business Awards gala dinner, held at the Low Wood Bay Resort near Ambleside last week.
The club picked up the accolades for the Social Enterprise of the Year, courtesy of our Community Sports Trust, and for Community Involvement.
The Carlisle United Football Club Community Sports Trust [CST] is a registered charity which provides a wide range of outreach programmes for people of all ages and abilities.
Based at Brunton Park, its staff visits schools, colleges, universities and community organisations daily to deliver activities which, in many cases, would not otherwise be available to its participants.
The CST is headed up by a former-player, John Halpin, and employs 15 people in total raising approximately £200,000 per annum.
It has a clear mandate to take social inclusion programmes and sessions to schools, organisations and projects [in-line with the National Curriculum, where applicable] throughout the year.
Seasonal soccer schools for 5 to 12 year olds are complemented by bespoke projects including the Futsal Education Scholarship, placing 16 to 18 year olds on a football programme, which also makes them University ready through the delivery of a range of qualifications and certificates.
Added this year, the CST also delivers a Foundation Degree in Community Football Coaching and Development, with the University of South Wales, which gives students hands-on experience in tandem with their studies.
The NCS programme takes sixth form students on challenging activities to nurture leadership and team work. The Social Action Project on the scheme has seen those taking part carry out in such things as renovations to the gardens at Eden Valley Hospice and a river clearance project. The graduation ceremony is attended by MP John Stevenson where certificates are awarded to participants.
The CST programme remains at the forefront of the anti-racism campaign with a Show Racism The Red Card event bringing children from local schools together to learn how to recognise and deal with hate crimes.
Well respected Mental Health and Walking Football projects have been introduced in association with Age UK and the Cumbria NHS Partnership. Both programmes have been commended for bringing disadvantaged people back into the community.
The first ever Community Awards ceremony was held at the club this where individuals and groups from all disciplines were recognised for their work and achievements. Over 15,000 people were directly engaged by the community services provided.
Sales and Marketing Director Phil King said: "Its a fantastic achievement for all at the Club to be awarded the 'Community Involvement' award. Community is something that we put high up on the agenda across everything we do, whether that be players going out to visit schools and help people in their homes, our very popular Community Ticket Scheme, the Charity Partners initiative we launched last year, engaging the business community through our Business Club and, of course, the work that John Halpin and the Community Sports Trust do - which has been recognised in its own right by winning 'Social Enterprise of the Year'.
"A football club should be at the centre of it's community in every sense, and these awards show we are heading in the right direction. There is a real buzz and sense of momentum around the place at the minute, and our engagement with the community is a key part of that."
The only professional football club in the County, it has become a focal point and driving force for a wide range of community based activities and initiatives.
Carlisle United player appearances have seen over 300 personal engagements completed in the last calendar year, with training sessions for young teams to hospital visits examples of the activities undertaken.
Close work with local charities is paramount, and new innovations such as Walking Football for the over-50’s have been added to the weekly Mental Health wellbeing sessions already held at the club.
The club received national recognition after Storm Desmond when its players helped residents to clear their damaged properties. We supported the Community Christmas Dinner event at the Halston Hotel for 300 flood-hit families. Team captain Danny Grainger was nominated for national awards for his activities in the community, particularly during the floods.
A partnership with Cumbria Wheelchair Sports Club saw the Powerchair Football Team become the official club team. A successful Charity Partner Scheme was launched which raised £25,000 for CUFC CST, Hospice at Home and Carlisle Key through fundraising initiatives.
CST manager John Halpin said: "We're obviously very proud to have picked up an award like this but I have to stress it isn't just recognition for my staff. There are alot of people, businesses, organisations and groups who pull together to help us and this is a huge thank you to them as well.
"We're very fortunate that the Club takes its community responsibilities seriously and the ethos we have is that we don't ever rest on our laurels. We are always looking for new and innovative ways to engage and I think it's fair to say that we are interacting with more people, of all ages and abilities, than we have ever been able to achieve before. This is a huge boost for everybody and I'd like to thank everybody, once again, for the support they give to our Community Sports Trust."
+ Training and Development Award: Country House Outdoor, Carlisle
+ Exporter of the Year: Oxley Group, Ulverston
+ Community Involvement: Carlisle United Football Club
+ Innovation: Kendal Nutricare
+ Environmental and Energy Awareness: FSC Blencathra Centre, Threlkeld
+ Agribusiness of the Year: Lakes Free Range Egg Co, Stainton
+ Tourism and Hospitality Award: Treetop Trek, Windermere
+ New Business of the Year: Cumbria Travel, Whitehaven
+ Service Business of the Year: Prima Uno, Cleator Moor
+ Manufacturing Business of the Year: Clark Door, Carlisle
+ Best Use of Media: Daffodil Hotel and Spa, Grasmere
+ Customer Service Excellence Award: Brampton Skip Hire, Carlisle
+ Rising Star Award: Will Gardner-Brennand, Miller Waite, Ulverston
+ Businessperson of the Year: Craig Hatch, WYG, Cockermouth
+ Social Enterprise of the Year: Carlisle United Community Sports Trust
+ Judges' special award: TSP Engineering, Workington
+ Lifetime contribution to Cumbria: Fred Story, Carlisle