Aberdeen ,

AFCCT awarded Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services

Aberdeen FC Community Trust (AFCCT) has received the highest honour available to volunteer groups during a ceremony at Pittodrie.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett, in his role as the Lord-Lieutenant, presented the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services to the charity, in recognition of its outstanding work with communities across the North-east.

Created by Her Majesty The Queen to mark her Golden Jubilee in 2002, the award recognises the outstanding contributions made to local communities by groups of volunteers.

The honour is only available to charities operating for more than three years, making AFCCT, established as the official charity partner of the club in 2014, one of the youngest recipients.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Aberdeen Barney Crockett said: “Congratulations to everyone at Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust on receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

“It is testament to the dedication, enthusiasm and sheer hard work of all involved which has led to such prestigious recognition.

“We are very fortunate in Aberdeen to have so many individuals who give up so much of their own time for the benefit of others. They should be very proud of themselves and the work that they do as part of AFCCT as they help enrich the lives of others in communities across the city and beyond.”

AFCCT’s chief executive Ally Prockter said: “This award is known as the ‘MBE for volunteer groups’ so this is a huge achievement for us and it’s a fantastic acknowledgement of everyone who works for the charity and our volunteers who give up their free time to help people in their communities.

“I was totally taken aback when I found out we were receiving this award as it’s a huge accomplishment to receive this kind of recognition after only four years. This is an outstanding achievement by any measure and one we will proudly display and claim as we go forward.”

Ally was joined at the ceremony by 16-year-old volunteer and youth ambassador Caitlyn Irvine from Tillydrone. She said: “I was so proud when I found out we had won this award and very proud of all the volunteers for the hard work they’ve put in to make this award possible.

“The Community Trust has not only given me confidence, but I’ve made friends for life. If I ever have a problem I know I can always rely on them and have someone there to talk to.”

AFCCT aims to provide support and opportunity to change lives for the better throughout the North-east. The charity engages with more than 17,000 participants each year across 60 programmes and initiatives, with volunteers from the organisation delivering more than 5,000 hours of free community support in their spare time.

AFCCT works with North-east local authorities and organisations including Life Changes Trust, NHS Grampian, Sport Aberdeen, Police Scotland, Aberdeen Sports Village and other members of the Active Aberdeen Partnership.

Last year, AFCCT won Europe’s Best Community and Social Responsibility Programme Award for the Trust’s Dementia Friendly Programme at the European Club Association awards in Geneva.

Attracting more than 100 participants each week, AFCCT’s Dementia Friendly Programme includes activities designed to increase mobility and social inclusion, as well as reducing isolation and anxieties for those living with the illness.