Dedicated community team receives national praise for its work

The Pedal Pompey Disability Bike Ride organised by Pompey in the Community to raise funds for two new pedal wheelchair carriers
The Pedal Pompey Disability Bike Ride organised by Pompey in the Community to raise funds for two new pedal wheelchair carriers

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A COMMUNITY organisation that helps to organise and run projects throughout the city is in the running for a national award.

Pompey in the Community has been named as the South East Checkatrade Community Club of the Year as part of the 2018 EFL Awards.

The group will join five other regional winners for a celebration in parliament on Monday, March 12.

Last year’s overall winners of the Checkatrade Community Club of the Year Award, Pompey will again be put forward alongside the five other regional winners for the 2018 award, which will be announced at the EFL Awards on April 15.

Head of community projects Claire Martin said: ‘This is a huge achievement for us. We have now won two awards in the last two years, which is a great feeling.

‘To have even been nominated in the first place is a great accomplishment for us, and a testament to the hard work of everyone involved in what we do.’

Pompey in the Community impressed the judges with their Wheels for All project, an inclusive community cycling scheme that offers adapted bikes and personal support to local adults and children with physical and learning disabilities.

Claire said: ‘It started out as a city council project, but due to funding problems it was sadly going to have to end. The council offered it to us and we accepted – it is all run by volunteers and it is an amazing project.

‘It has gone from 50 users to over 300, with people from the age of four up to 100 making the most of what we have to offer.

‘It works for people of all ages and abilities, and I think that is very important.’

Claire said that the goodwill of projects up and down the country was an asset to many people.

She said: ‘At the national awards in April there will be other fantastic schemes highlighting the great work people do.

‘We don’t expect to win but it is amazing to have been nominated – and none of this would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of all the staff and volunteers we have here at Pompey in the Community.’

EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said: ‘EFL clubs are based in the heart of communities up and down the country, often in some of the most disadvantaged areas.

‘It’s important that we recognise the clubs that have gone that extra mile to make a real difference to the community they represent which is why the announcement of the Checkatrade Community Club of the Year regional winners is a fitting tribute to the excellent and innovative work that takes place.’