KANE Hemmings has been named as the Burton Albion 2020/21 PFA Community Champion.
The PFA Community Champion award recognises PFA members who provide great support to their club’s community activities during the season.
Burton-born Hemmings was nominated to receive the accolade following his commitment to supporting Albion's tireless work in community this season.
Despite covid-19 limiting the amount of face-to-face player appearances throughout the season, Hemmings and the rest of the Brewers squad have still been instrumental in spreading joy across the local area throughout these challenging times.
Championing the work of Burton Albion Community Trust (BACT), as well as other local charities in his own time, Kane's efforts to support projects and initiatives run in the community have stood out.
Since joining the club last summer, his main impact off the pitch has arguably been his support to help end child food poverty.
Hemmings helped to drive the campaign led by Marcus Rashford in order to provide free packed lunches to local school children during half term. The striker helped club chefs to produce the lunches, as well giving up time to hand them out and talk to the families that turned up to the Pirelli Stadium.
As part of the initiative, he also featured on both Sky Sports and ITV News to share his own story about his family’s experiences of counting on local school holiday groups to receive support for food and childcare.
Over the last twelve months Kane has supported the work of the club's covid-19 vaccination centre at the Pirelli Stadium. On one of his days off training, he assisted elderly and vulnerable patients that had just had their jabs to have conversations, demonstrate exercises and offer refreshments.
He has also supported the local Covid Hero Awards, World Book Day, KICKS player Q&A sessions and the ‘Go the Extra Mile’ lockdown support campaign, as well as many others.
Kane has also spent many hours supporting causes away from Burton Albion. He has featured on numerous online video calls with different charities and organisations, as well as at several events that have supported local campaigns. These included a local easter egg collection for the Winshill Neighbourhood Resource Centre in which he played a big part in providing over 1000 easter eggs to children in the local area.
As well as regularly attending appearances in-person and via digital platforms, Kane has also used the power of his social media channels to give exposure to the work that is done by Burton Albion Football Club and Community Trust.
On receiving the award, Hemmings said: “I’m delighted to receive the award.
“I really care about my local area and have wanted to embrace the community side of being a professional footballer.
“It doesn’t cost me anything to do and it’s a pleasure to help, so there’s no reason for me not to.
“It’s great to be able to use the platform that we have as professionals to help and encourage others.
“It’s been a tough year and the work that the club, community trust and players have got involved in has been really amazing.
“The fact that you can’t always go out and see people hasn’t allowed Burton Albion to stop supporting the community. Using online platforms such has Zoom have been used to allow our club to have daily interaction with participants. It’s been great to see and I’m really proud to be a part of it.”
Matt Hancock, Head of Community, said: “Kane’s been great since coming into the club and has shown a keen desire to support the work of BACT since day one.
“He’s not only done everything that’s been asked of him, but he’s in regular contact with us to ask if there’s anything else that he can help with and support on.
“He also appears to have had a positive influence on the rest of his teammates this season. He seems to have provided an added motivation to the rest of the squad, inspiring them, and helping to give an understanding about the importance of community work for Burton Albion.”