Saints Foundation wins Sports Business Award 2018

8 June 2018

Saints Foundation wins Sports Business Award 2018

Saints Foundation won one of the Sports Business Awards 2018 in London. Its partnership with The Big Issue was rewarded by the Sports Innovation Award.

The partnership began at the start of the 2017-18 football season, kicking off with a unique collaboration between the two organisations, which saw a special edition Big Issue magazine double up as Southampton Football Club’s official programme for the Premier League fixture against Swansea City. The magazine was sold throughout Hampshire, and by Big Issue vendors at St Mary’s on matchday.

Saints Foundation then delivered a unique employability programme for Big Issue vendors at St Mary’s Stadium, with four vendors being offered employment within various sectors of the football club after completing the course.

Gary Jackson, who was unemployed for 18 months before getting involved with The Big Issue and being taken on as a steward at Southampton FC, said: “Saints Foundation have given me the inspiration and emotional support to completely change my outlook on life. I’ve began to believe in myself again, and I’ve been inspired to always do my best.”

A clever and fresh idea

The Sports Business Awards Judging Panel 2018 called the partnership a “clever, fresh idea’, commenting that they were “taken by the clear, positive results it achieved making a real difference to people in need.”

Greg Baker, Head of Saints Foundation, added: “We are really proud to have won gold for ‘Sports Innovation’ at the Sports Business Awards, for our work with The Big Issue across the course of the 2017/18 season. From the launch of our world-first match day magazine in August, and throughout the subsequent employability programme delivered for Big Issue vendors at St Mary’s Stadium, it has been clear that the values and objectives of the two organisations align perfectly. We are delighted that the success of the partnership has now been recognised externally, and to win such a prestigious prize is testament to the hard work put in by all concerned, not least the vendors themselves”.

Everton wins Silver Award 

With Everton in the Community, another EFDN member got a Sport Business Award for its social engagement. Everton won the Silver Award in the category “Best charity organisation”.  Since 1988, Everton in the Community has been at the forefront of social intervention across Merseyside, not afraid to tackle issues which others shied away from. Through its 120 dedicated full-time staff, 72 casual staff and 144 volunteers, the charity offers 60 programmes covering a range of social issues including health, employability, anti-social behaviour, crime, education, dementia, poverty, youth engagement, youth justice, and disability.

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