Every year, Derby County Community Trust publish their Annual Report which details the achievements of their programmes and participants. As 2021 has continued to challenge our communities, the Community Trust has been there to support individuals to lead happier and healthier lives.

As the Community Trust has continued to navigate the difficult landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, their commitment to the community has continued to grow as they worked with thousands of participants through five key delivery departments.

Their Schools and Coaching team continued to offer unwavering support throughout school closures at the beginning of 2021, switching to virtual delivery where required, and supporting staff in school to help their pupils stay active and motivated.

Coaching remains a cornerstone of delivery. It is the longest standing strand of their community work and continues to play a vital role in supporting the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

Over 200 students were supported through their Education and Employability department, with the highest number of learners completing their studies alongside taking part in competitive football. Spanning various projects, the Community Trust provides opportunity for young people to complete employability projects along with Further and Higher Education courses.

This includes a strong female cohort, who in their first season as an 11-a-side team, achieved both league and cup success. Working with Derby County Football Club Women on their joint female player pathway means that girls and women in Derbyshire have access to football opportunities at all levels.

The NCS project epitomises both working as a community, for the community. Teams of young people have a short amount of time to work together for a social action cause that they have chosen for the good of their community. From planning how to support the chosen cause to organising fundraisers, it’s an insight into what can be achieved when teamwork is really applied.

This year, 365 young people made a tangible difference to their communities through the project, most noticeably through supporting the Derby Food 4 Thought Alliance, who have become a key partner of the Community Trust’s throughout the pandemic.

The extensive work of the Inclusion team supports young people across the county to engage in positive, diversionary activity, where they could have been at risk of anti-social behaviour. Combining with national initiatives such as the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) project, activity has been able to support even more individuals and their families across 2021.

The importance of community-based activity is integral to these free, weekly activities, which are delivered within hearts of communities, utilising parks, community centres and schools to engage children and young people.

This team also incorporates Disability sport, which provides opportunity for hundreds of young people and adults. From pan-disability to FA Talent sessions, the aim is to be cater for all. A key example of this work can be seen in Pride Park Stadium itself, in the Community Trust’s Sensory Room, which welcomes participants with autism to enjoy a live matchday experience.

The majority of the Community Trust’s adult programmes are delivered through their Health department, which have continued to work to reduce health inequalities across the city and county. Tackling issues including drug and alcohol rehabilitation, cancer recovery, long-term health conditions and weight loss, their wide-ranging programmes support thousands of people to make healthier life choices.

In addition to direct delivery departments, the Community Trust also operate a number of events, including the flagship Derby 10K, which welcomed runners back for the first time since 2019 this year.

Simon Carnall, Head of Community, said: “2021 has continued to challenge us all, so to see our programmes still making an incredible difference across the city and county is amazing.

“To work across the range of projects which we do, to such a high standard, is a credit to our staff, who work tirelessly day in, day out to make a difference.

“We are proud to have continued the important work we started in the pandemic, particularly the partnership which we established with the Derby Food 4 Thought Alliance, which has continued to grow.

“We are committed to ensuring that each participant we work with feels connected to their community and has the opportunity to make a difference. The longevity of our work depends on the amazing people who we work with to continue to engage with our projects, so we can continue to support good health and wellbeing, develop more active communities, optimise life chances and build community pride for many years to come.”

Derby County Community Trust’s Annual Report is available to read in full on derbycountycommunitytrust.com, detailing their year and all projects which you can support or get involved in.