West Ham United are delighted to reveal that the Club have been shortlisted for two prestigious Football Business Awards.
The Club were named finalists in both the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Scheme category and Best Football Community Scheme.
The winners are to be announced at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge home on Thursday 7 November, where comedienne Jo Brand is set to compere the awards ceremony.
West Ham United Vice-Chairman Karren Brady said: "I'm thrilled to see that the Club's enduring commitment to its local community is receiving the recognition that it absolutely deserves.
"As a Board and as a Club we take great pride in all that we do to serve our community and will continue to do so as we prepare to move to the Olympic Stadium.
"Our long-established Community Sports Trust does an outstanding job supporting those who need it most, working tirelessly to promote health and economic wellbeing in the area."
Best Football Community Scheme
Over the past year, the Trust has dedicated much of its time to the delivery of 'Premier League Kicks' sessions, a scheme now jointly funded by the Premier League and Sport England.
Those sessions have recorded the highest attendance levels of any Barclays Premier League club, with some 145 new participants joining the programme, making it a 'flagship' hub-site for the Premier League.
Additionally, evaluated equalities data show that the background of attendees appropriately reflects the diversity of the borough.
In the last two years alone, 25 former Kicks participants have entered training, mentoring and employability schemes, before subsequently being deployed on the 'Kicks' programme itself as sessional coaches, after earning qualifications.
Best Corporate Social Responsibility Scheme
West Ham United is rightly recognised for having broken new ground where football in the Asian community is concerned. In 1997, the Club launched the country's first Asians in Football project in Tower Hamlets. The Trust recruited the first UEFA licenced Asian coach and FA tutor, Rashid Abba, to manage the project.
Based at Mile End Stadium, Asians in Football delivered high quality coaching to a generation of local Asian children, producing outstanding results. This included training upward of 30 male Bengalis to become Level 1 or 2 football coaches, sports leaders and mentors, as well as working with the Bengali Women's Academy to assist ten females secure Level 1 football qualifications.
The Trust has subsequently utilised its CSR relationship with Higgins Group PLC to fund dedicated Asian and Bengali engagement work in 2012/13.
In addition to some 600 Bengali youngsters attending West Ham United's Barclays Premier League fixture against Wigan Athletic, the Trust have also negotiated a triangular strategic partnership with the Stifford Centre, (a Bengali and Asian community hub in Stepney), and the Bangladeshi FA UK.
Elsewhere, upward of 1000 spectators attended the UK Asian Community Cup final played at the Boleyn Ground, while, to date, the Trust have engaged with over 30 Bengali and Asian businesses in east London.
Joe Lyons, Head of the Community Sports Trust, had just represented the Premier League on a visit to Asia to review the Inspired Goalz programme, (a spin-off from the UK Kicks model), and to explore further opportunities for the Club.
During a CSR seminar held in Delhi, the Club's CSR model was showcased as a 'Best Practice' example of how a Club can contribute to the social needs of its community. With the clear demographic synergies between Asia and east London, West Ham will be looking at future development opportunities in the lead up to 2016.