Adam Randell with young fan

Argyle Named EFL League One Community Club of the Season

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We are delighted to reveal that Argyle have been named as the EFL Community Club of the Season for Sky Bet League One.

The club has won the divisional award alongside Wigan Athletic (Championship) and Swindon Town (League Two), with the EFL acknowledging the incredible work of Project 35 in tackling child poverty in Devon and Cornwall.

Our social action initiative has seen 30,000 meals provided to those in need and several tonnes of food generated for local food banks, and wins alongside the Latics' key role in building a legacy to the Women’s Euros 2022, and Swindon Town's commitment to integrating and supporting refugees in the area.

Andrew Parkinson, Chief Executive Officer at Argyle, said: "We are a club proudly embedded in our local community, and this award is further recognition of our commitment to our city and region.

"It is also an acknowledgment of not only the work of staff at Argyle, but a number of other dedicated contributors.

"We thank the Argyle Community Trust, who continue to champion equality and raise aspirations in Devon and Cornwall, as well as our partner Ginsters for their generosity in supporting Project 35. Most importantly, though, we thank our supporters.

"Hundreds of the Green Army have volunteered hours towards Project 35, and thousands of you have given generously, whether for food donations or local initiatives. Community is about working together, and we are fortunate to have a fanbase that shares our Values."

Accolades for EFL Player in the Community, sponsored by the PFA, go to Rotherham United’s Hakeem Odoffin in the Championship, George Edmundson of Ipswich Town in League One and for the second year running Omar Beckles took the top spot in League Two.

Odoffin has been recognised for his brilliant attitude and willingness to give up his time to connect with local young people through the Rotherham United Community Trust. In League One, George Edmundson’s role as disability ambassador for Ipswich Town impressed the judges – the centre-back has attended all of the disability team’s matches and even funded each player’s kit. Leyton Orient’s Omar Beckles took the top spot for League Two, for his outstanding commitment to community work which has seen the player actively involved in youth mentoring and intervention programmes.

The judging panel were unanimous in their votes for EFL Community Project of the Season which recognises the most innovative and impactful projects. In the Championship this award went to Stoke City for its ‘Keep Stoke Smiling’ project – an oral health initiative which has reached 11,000 children in 74 local primary schools. In League One, it was MK Dons for its anti-violence and knife crime education programme, Knife Angel. Both visual and impactful, the project has reached over 45,000 individuals and saw 293 knives being surrendered during a one month period. In League Two, Doncaster Rovers’ pioneering pre and post-natal scheme, Fit Families, is the first of its kind in the EFL and is providing much needed support to families facing high levels of deprivation.

The achievements of the shortlisted Clubs and players will be marked during an event hosted in Parliament on 17 April, with one overall winner for each category to be revealed at the star-studded EFL Awards in London on 23 April.

With more than 80 per cent of the population in England and Wales living within 15 miles of an EFL Club, the League’s network of 72 Clubs are at the very heart of the communities. The impact these Clubs have on their communities goes way beyond the 90 minutes on the pitch with Clubs delivering a portfolio of community schemes in response to issues such as obesity, food poverty, loneliness, education and unemployment.

As evidenced in the ‘Measuring the Impact of EFL Clubs in the Community’ report launched earlier this year, during the 2021/22 season, EFL Clubs and their CCOs generated over £865m of social value to towns and cities across the country through community programmes and delivered over 580,000 hours of community events and activities.

Trevor Birch, CEO of the EFL, said: “Our Clubs and their Club Community Organisations play an integral role in their communities, responding to the ever-changing needs of local people at an unprecedented scale. Last season alone, our Clubs and CCOs engaged over 840,000 people and generated more than £101m for community investment. It’s an honour and privilege to celebrate this outstanding work in Parliament.” 

EFL Community Divisional Winners

EFL Community Club of the Season

Championship: Wigan Athletic

League One: Plymouth Argyle

League Two: Swindon Town

EFL Community Project of the Season

Championship: Stoke City – Keep Stoke Smiling

League One: Milton Keynes Dons – Knife Angel: anti-violence project

League Two: Doncaster Rovers – Fit Families: pre & post-natal courses

EFL Player in the Community, sponsored by the PFA

Championship: Hakeem Odoffin, Rotherham United

League One: George Edmundson, Ipswich Town

League Two: Omar Beckles, Leyton Orient

Overall winners will be announced at the EFL Awards on Sunday 23 April.

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