Port Vale is EFL Community Club of the Year after serving 300,000 meals during the pandemic

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Port Vale named EFL Community Club of the Year after handing out more than 300,000 meals and helping 51,000 people during the pandemic as 72 parties together deliver an astonishing 1.4 million food parcels in lockdown

  • EFL Awards recognize the community work of all 72 clubs in the three divisions
  • Chairman Rick Parry praised the fantastic efforts of EFL clubs to support communities
  • Blackburn, Sunderland, Bristol Rovers, Watford and Portsmouth won regionally
  • Cardiff City midfielder Will Vaulks won PFA Player in the community

Port Vale was named Community Club of the Year after handing out 300,000 meals in a heroic effort to support fans and residents during the pandemic.

The Stoke-on-Trent club reacted incredibly to the coronavirus, rescheduling staff after a massive relief effort last March.

In total, more than 50,000 vulnerable people received help and not only in the form of food. The club also made 6,000 calls to people at risk.

Port Vale celebrates after winning the Your Move Community Club of the Year award

“Our fans have needed more help than ever before,” said Port Vale chairman Carol Shanahan.

Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would achieve what we actually achieved.

“The most important thing is to meet the needs of the community. It doesn’t have to be big to be successful. Just the right help at the right time. ‘

The Valiants were named Midlands winner in Your Move Community Club of the Year at the EFL Awards on Wednesday, before being named national champions on Sky Sports on Thursday.

Championship side Stoke City supported walking football among seniors in the Potteries as part of a league-wide effort by all 72 clubs in the EFL to support their communities

Championship side Stoke City supported walking football among seniors in the Potteries as part of a league-wide effort by all 72 clubs in the EFL to support their communities

“There are a lot of people who need this,” said Vale fan Vera, who was called during the shutdown. ‘I am alone here. It’s nice that someone calls you and gives you a chat. ‘

The awards also recognized the efforts of individual players who spend their time supporting their club’s confidence.

Will Vaulks, 27, Cardiff City midfielder, was awarded the PFA Player in the Community award for his miraculous efforts during the pandemic.

Will Vaulks from Cardiff City won the PFA Player in the Community award - his second win

Will Vaulks from Cardiff City won the PFA Player in the Community award – his second win

“This kind of work is so important to give back a little bit as a footballer,” said Vaulks, who also won an EFL award in 2019 when he played for Rotherham United.

‘We get so much from the local community. We get a bump as football players, but we have a good life and we have a responsibility.

“We are looked up to by young boys and girls and we have a responsibility to give back.”

Vaulks also won the Championship Player in the Community award, while Bristol Rovers’ winger Alex Rodman, 34, won in League One and Newport County midfielder Matthew Dolan, 28, was a winner in League Two.

The past year has seen an incredible response from the community trusts of the 72 EFL clubs.

EFL Chairman Rick Parry praised clubs' 'remarkable' support for their communities

Ryan Yates from Nottingham Forest has been busy delivering food parcels

EFL Chairman Rick Parry (left) praised the clubs’ ‘remarkable’ support to their communities and Nottingham Forest’s Ryan Yates has been busy delivering food parcels

Together they have delivered 1.4 million food parcels, made 500,000 phone calls and distributed 200,000 personal protective equipment.

‘It has been fantastic. We have seen some wonderful success stories and incredible challenges, ”said EFL Chairman Rick Parry.

‘We have seen the best in all our clubs, it has been an enormous effort. It’s something to be excited and proud of. ‘

Your Move Community Club of the Year – Regional winners

London

Watford were the winners in the capital. The Hornets distributed 50,000 hot meals, turned hospitality suites on Vicarage Road into bedrooms to isolate NHS workers, made 2,500 welfare calls and supported 3,000 children through the club’s Positive Minds initiative.

Southeast and East

Portsmouth won in this region running a communal kitchen that not only provides 400 meals a week to vulnerable people, but also teaches cooking skills to children and young people.

South Wales and South West

Bristol Rovers took the Southwest Award for providing opportunities for women and girls to develop skills and confidence in sports and for the club’s ‘Gas Girls’ involvement in the ‘Tackling Loneliness’ project

North West

Blackburn Rovers were the winners in the northwest. The club’s posts generated a million impressions and 2,000 support calls were made and 1,200 hours of people in the local community were helped.

North-East

Sunderland won in the Northeast for a massive effort to help the local community, handing out three tons of food, giving more than 100 Christmas presents, supporting 1,000 families, and much more.

Midlands

Port Vale won inland and claimed the national title, helping more than 50,000 people in the local community.

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