Derby County Community Trust’s Annual Awards returned on Thursday night, celebrating and rewarding standout participants, projects and programmes.

From football coaching for the youngsters, to the supportive sessions on health and mental wellbeing for various communities across Derbyshire, the Community Trust works with over 25,000 people each year through over 40 programmes.

Nine different awards celebrate all aspects of the Trust’s delivery, from Community Impact to Participant of the Year.

This year’s winners were:

Community Impact: Rams Family Support

Education Champion: Sam Redfern

School of the Year: Zaytouna Primary School

Inclusion Champion: Caira McCausland

Volunteer Champion: Rose Eadson

Participant of the Year: Andy Nichols

Special Recognition: Rams in Kenya

Employee of the Year: Carly Burns and Lee Fearnley

Programme of the Year: Menopause Matters

Simon Carnall, Head of Community at the CommunityTrust, said: “The awards are a key night in calendar to showcase our inspiring participants, who excel in the way that they do thanks to the help and care from our staff.

“It’s truly a night which brings together everyone from across Derby County and we are thrilled to have shared it with our owner, along with his guests."

Long-term partners of the Trust, Smith Partnership, returned as headline sponsors. Bally Atwal, trustee of the Community Trust and Partner at Smith Partnership, added: “As a trustee I get to see first-hand the amazing work that the Trust delivers on a daily basis, and the commitment and enthusiasm of staff and volunteers that improves lives of those in our communities. Everyone constantly goes above and beyond the call of duty and it's an honour and a privilege for Smith Partnership to continue their support of this evening.”

The Community Trust were also pleased to have DNS return as a drinks sponsor and Scenaraiio were the trophy sponsors and they welcomed some returning and new names as category sponsors for 2023. These included: Timms Solicitors, Lubrizol, Gravity Digital, PIB Insurance, Vibrant Accountancy, University of Derby and Pennine Healthcare.

As ever, the Awards were supported by the wider football club, with Head Coach Paul Warne and Assistant Head Coach Richie Barker in attendance at the evening. Both shared their thoughts on the evening and the work of the Community Trust, with Barker adding: "I've worked at seven or eight clubs now, and I've never seen a Community Trust have the impact on participants and the whole area that we have here at Derby. We are truly humbled to hear and see the stories that have been shared tonight."

Derby County Community Trust’s work has been recognised as the best in the Midlands six times in the last 11 years, and its Annual Awards shine a light on the staff, programmes and participants which lead it to be held in such high regard.