Aberdeen FC Community Trust picked up the Inspiring Futures award at this year's Northern Star Business Awards, and were presented the title by sponsors Gray & Adams.

Aberdeen FC Community Trust (AFCCT) was established in 2014 to provide support and opportunity to change lives for the better.

It works with people of all ages and backgrounds to maximise the potential of our communities and to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

Using the power of football and the passion for AFC, the Trust has a unique approach which fosters engagement and enthusiasm among participants. From its work in schools to the provision of football coaching, camps and festivals, management of football leagues and community initiatives including dementia friendly active ageing programmes, the Trust enriches lives across the North-east of Scotland.

It provides a supported pathway for young people through its work in its partner primary schools, city and shire academies, youth ambassador programme, volunteering opportunities and employability projects amongst other community offerings. AFCCT currently works in 10 academies and 17 primary schools supporting some of the most vulnerable and disengaged young people to help close the poverty-related attainment gap.

The Trust supports young people to significantly improve their wellbeing and outlook, specifically their confidence, skills for life, learning and work. Over 120 pupils this academic year achieved alternative SQA qualifications through the AFCCT interventions.

AFCCT began working in schools delivering before and after school activity - Breakfast Clubs and Footy Teas. The impact was huge and it was quickly identified by young people, families, school and Trust staff that using AFCCT was a great vehicle for improving learning and delivering key health and wellbeing messages.

Through the pandemic it was clear that AFCCT was a key partner in schools. The relationships built with young people and the school community were key and vital to help young people recover and cope with lockdowns and being isolated for so long.

AFCCT’s focus on mental health through the MINDSET programme is a direct response to the needs of the community in the last few years. Listening and adapting to community needs continues to strengthen its school relationships.

Across schools, year on year, there is improved attendance, reduced lateness, improved wellbeing and improved engagement.

Within the three city academies alone the Trust worked with 967 pupils last academic year and the impact included:

▪ Attendance increased by 50%

▪ Behaviour referrals reduced by 400%

▪ Increased knowledge of empathy (35%), mental wellbeing (13%), and physical wellbeing (11%)

▪ Energy drink consumption reduced by 86%

The finalists

The other finalists in the category were:

  • Deep Casing Tools
  • Delmar Systems Limited
  • Fennex
  • North East Scotland College

Click here to view the finalists video.

About the sponsor

Gray & Adams is the UK market-leader in the manufacture of specialist temperature controlled and bespoke vehicles. Founded in 1957, the firm is a long-established, family-owned business with 750 employees, based out of a head office and main production facility in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire and has operational sites across the UK in Doncaster, Dunfermline and Newtownabbey.

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