EFDN MEMBER OF THE MONTH – OCTOBER 2023

16 October 2023

EFDN MEMBER OF THE MONTH – OCTOBER 2023

We’re back with a new EFDN Member of the Month announcement! This October, we are delighted to announce Motherwell FC Community Trust as our Member of the Month, accompanied by an interview with their CEO, Dawn Middleton.

This initiative aims to showcase the outstanding efforts of our member clubs, leagues or FA’s honouring their dedication to using football for positive change in their communities. Each month, we select a deserving member organisation based on its leadership, innovation, and impact on social responsibility. The chosen member gains exclusive visibility across our network and beyond, allowing their inspiring work to be recognised and celebrated.

To celebrate Motherwell’s nomination, Dawn Middleton accepted our invitation for an interview, enabling us to discover the remarkable experiences as well as her personal stories and initiatives that have led to the club being selected as the EFDN Member of the Month.

A Short Introduction to Dawn Middleton

I’m Dawn Middleton the CEO of Motherwell Football Club Community Trust. The club is situated about 10 miles from Glasgow in the West of Scotland in the UK. I’ve been with the Trust for just over 7 years and the Trust has been an EFDN member for just over 5 years. I qualified as a secondary school teacher and taught French, German and Physical Education in boarding schools in Edinburgh. I then moved into sport and had the opportunity to manage a Ryder Cup legacy programme and work at home Commonwealth Games and Olympics for badminton.

What makes you smile in your role? 

I always tell people that I have the best job at Motherwell Football Club as our team has the opportunity to make a positive difference to people’s lives irrespective of results on the pitch. We are a small team and we all believe in what we do and why we do it. I love coming to work every day.

What inspired you to work in the CSR/ESG field and what made you interested in making a difference in the football industry specifically? 

While working in other sports I helped other football clubs set up their charities and realised the potential of clubs to make a positive difference in their areas. As the largest spectator sport football has a much wider reach than any other. People often have fond memories of visits to matches with their parents, friends and relatives. The world has changed significantly in recent times, and I love the opportunity to work with partners to address the issues which can be addressed. When the Motherwell FC post was advertised I knew it was a fantastic opportunity and I prepared for the interview more than for any other job I’ve ever applied for!

What core values guide your foundation’s work, and how do you ensure your initiatives have a lasting impact? 

At the heart of what we do are the needs of the people in our community. Everyone wants to tell of their community engagement but the clubs who do it well know how difficult it is to really reach those most in need. That’s why I enjoy EFDN conferences and events as the sharing of good practice with other focused clubs is hugely important as we strive to improve what we do. In order to have a lasting impact we need to embed our work in society and in local, national and regional plans. This requires strong, committed partners and a clear shared vision.

What’s your favourite project? 

No bias here but participation in the EFDN Walking Football League changed the landscape of walking football for us. We were not part of the funded programme but sent a team to Bayer Leverkusen in September 2022. The participants could not believe that they had the opportunity to represent Motherwell FC in Europe in their 60s. It had been a boyhood dream for many of them. We sought sponsorship for travel kit, strips and subsidised travel. One player burst into tears when presented with his strip with his name on the back. That opportunity to change the lives of a demographic so often overlooked has been incredible. Participation in our walking football has grown from 8 or 9 to 45 participants each session. We sent two teams to Newcastle and our squad has just returned from Madrid.

Can you share a memorable story that showcases the positive impact of your foundation’s work? 

Projects

The Pars Foundation Programmes

Established in 2013, The Pars Foundation is an independent charity which uses the power of sport and the name ...

SC Heerenveen Foundation Programmes

The societal mission at SC Heerenveen and the SC Heerenveen Foundation is to strive for a vital and ...