BURTON Albion boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink says the impact the club’s community trust is making in the town is “a powerful thing”.
The Brewers manager joined Burton MP Andrew Griffiths and club chairman Ben Robinson at the open day for Burton Albion Community’s Trust’s Hub, which officially launched the Grange Street centre.
The Albion boss was especially impressed with the way the hub is engaging with young people.
He said: “Most importantly it helps children, not only giving them a centre, but giving them a focus and attention and if we can put the Burton Albion badge behind that, then it’s a very powerful thing.
“It’s the kind of club we are and the trust has come a long way in the last five years but it isn’t standing still. It’s now about getting the message out and getting even more people to be part of it.
“It’s important to the community and to Burton Albion.”
Head of community Andy Taylor says that taking over the management of the hub was a “no brainer”.
“As a trust we have grown phenomenally in the last five years and we needed to create projects out in the community. We have tried to bring this venue to life. It’s about raising expectations in young people and older people alike. This is also open for community and voluntary sector organisations to run projects and initiatives.
“It allows BACT’s community schemes to grow, to deliver education programmes to those furthest away from employment, develop health initiatives, adult day centre provision – the range is really wide.
“After only three months the venue is already up to 85-90 per cent capacity.”
Andrew Griffiths said he was delighted to be on hand at the official opening of the hub.
“In my five years as an MP I have watched BACT grow. We are all proud of Burton Albion. It’s a great club and it has achieved so much - the fact that it’s competing in League One makes us all extremely proud.
“But at the heart of Burton Albion is the community and the community trust is the heart of Burton Albion – it’s what connects the club to the people in Burton and the work it’s doing is brilliant. We all talk about the power of sport to inspire people to do more, to get active, to stop anti-social behaviour – Burton Albion Community Trust is the solution to all of that.”
Burton Albion chairman Ben Robinson says that the work of the community trust is fundamental to what the club is all about.
“When we got promoted to the Football League our greatest ambition was to make a difference in the community using the brand of Burton Albion to deliver a wide-ranging programme. Over the last five years, thanks to the hard work of Andy and the BACT team, we have reached an ever-growing number of people with an ever wider range of programmes and the hub can only help deliver even more benefits.”
Andy Taylor added: “I have to thank all the partners who supported our application to take over the centre and to all those who have helped bring it to life.”
That includes Trent and Dove Housing, a partner of the venue, Shobnall Parish Council, GCI, WT Parker, Chameleon Construction and all BACT’s partners from the community and voluntary sector.