Cumberland Football Association has landed the Partnership Award at the 2020 County FA Recognition Awards for its United Against Abuse campaign.
The awards, which were hosted online for the first time due to Covid-19 restrictions, recognise and endorse the best projects, products and services launched by County FAs over the past season while sharing best practice and learnings from around the country.
Over 125 submissions were entered from the 50 County FAs operating across England, highlighting continuous improvements and showcasing how they are innovating to improve football and increase participation across all levels of the game.
The ten categories recognised at the awards were:
+ Brand Engagement
+ Digital Engagement
+ Diversity & Inclusion
+ Football Development
+ Insight & Data
+ Women & Girls
+ Youth Council
+ Special Recognition
Cumberland FA was handed the Partnership Award for the joint campaign with Cumbria Police and Carlisle United FC following the launch of the ‘United Against Abuse’ initiative; a county-wide football themed domestic abuse campaign to confront, reduce and raise awareness of domestic abuse in Cumbria. Using the power of football, the campaign sent out a strong message from everyone that domestic abuse has to stop.
Ben Snowdon CEO, Cumberland FA said: "We are obviously delighted to have been recognised by The FA for the partnership and the initiative.
"The initial concept was brought to us by Cumbria Police and as a County FA we were able to see how this would link to the Respect programme and its messages around on and off the field behaviour.
"The support of Carlisle United FC was critical in unifying the grassroots, national league and professional game in stating that we United Against Abuse.
"I would like to thank Cumbria Police, Carlisle United FC and all of the leagues and clubs across the county who supported the campaign.
"However, the most important aspect of this award is the opportunity to once again promote the key messages from the scheme, at a time when they have arguably never been more important. As a game we will continue to stand United to say that abuse of any kind should not and will not tolerated. Whether this be on the field between players, off the field towards a match official or in this case at home.”
Detective Chief Inspector James Yallop of Cumbria Police commented: “It is great recognition for the county and shows what can be achieved when different organisations come together to unite in a common goal. The take-up we had from local football teams was amazing and we’d like to thank every team who took part and took a stand against domestic abuse.”
The FA’s Director of Football Development, James Kendall added: “It gives us great pleasure to recognise and reward our County FAs for the vital work they continue to deliver across their local communities, and I want to thank each and every one of them for the resilience and leadership they have shown over the course of the year.
"In what has been an unprecedented year of challenges, we now have the highest number of males playing affiliated football recorded to date, and we have delivered on our collective ambition to double participation in the female game. This is testament to the hard work of all our County FAs and everyone should be congratulated for these achievements.”
Nigel Clibbens, the Chief Executive of Carlisle United FC said “We have been proud to work alongside Cumberland FA and Cumbria Constabulary to help raise awareness of an issue which can impact anyone in society. I know that is a message which everyone involved in our football club support fully, including our supporters. We are pleased the campaign has been a success and recognised and we have been able to work together and be a part of it.”