This category will recognise the community scheme that has best demonstrated success at engaging with the local community in the 2011 calendar year. The shortlist is comprised of the five regional winners of the award, and tonight we recognise the one overall national winner.
In deciding on a winner, judges considered the objectives of the scheme, breadth of delivery, innovation, impact and achievements in 2011, alongside each scheme's flagship project.
All schemes shortlisted for the award deliver community activity across The Football League Trust's four key themes of Sport, Education, Inclusion and Health.
North West Winner: Bury
The Bury FC Community Trust restructured itself to focus on delivering activity under each of the key themes. Over the last year the Trust has delivered 16 major projects, with multiple other smaller projects to reach over 40,000 people.
Their showcase project from 2011 has been in education with the 'Future Jobs Fund'. This has seen The Trust work tirelessly in helping the region tackle significant youth unemployment issues by not just getting people into a job, but inspiring them to pursue a career.
South East Winner: Milton Keynes Dons
The Milton Keynes Dons Sport & Education Trust delivered sessions to over 50,000 children, young people and adults across four counties last year. With 51 projects covering the four key themes, the Trust prides itself in the many partnerships it has formed.
Their showcase project from 2011, 'Dons On Tour', focussed on health and community education and used a converted bus to tour the local community and engage with 'hard to reach' participants. It raised awareness among children of the benefits of healthy eating and an active lifestyle, as well as improving pupil's literacy, numeracy, confidence and self-esteem.
Midlands Winner: Notts County
2011 was an extremely successful year for Notts County FC Football In The Community. With 36 projects across the four key themes, the scheme worked with 10,000 people to provide inclusive and accessible high quality activities for the people of Nottingham.
Their showcase project from 2011 was health and education project 'Active Schools', targeting children aged 10 to 11 to promote the benefits of exercise and healthy lifestyles. Delivered in schools over a 10 week period, the project sees each school receive 30, one hour sessions a week.
South West Winner: Portsmouth
Despite the club's financial difficulties, the Pompey Sports & Education Foundation has thrived. The Foundation delivered 38 projects and 249,000 coaching and educational opportunities to over 33,000 individual young people in 2011.
Their showcase project from 2011 was their 'Get On Board' education programme, which focussed on cultural learning through sport. The project used the unique partnership between the club and the Mary Rose Trust to give children a cultural appreciation of the history surrounding their city to instil in them a real sense of pride in where they live.
North East Winner: Rotherham United
The Rotherham United Community Sport Trust delivers a wide range of activities across the four key themes that reflects needs of the diverse communities of Rotherham that it serves. Working in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the town, the Trust has delivered activity for over 61,000 participants in the last year.
Their showcase project from 2011 was their community cohesion project 'United 4 Communities'. This scheme engaged the different sections of the community in sporting and cultural activities such as football and dance sessions, Kick It Out activity and a schools project, aiming to bring people together and foster strong community links.
Award Sponsor: Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola Great Britain is an active member of the community, supporting education programmes and encouraging people to lead active lifestyles.
The Football League provides a fantastic platform for Coca-Cola to connect with communities across GB: with Football League clubs at the heart of their communities, Coca-Cola is proud to be associated with an award that celebrates those committed relationships.
About The Football League Trust
Football clubs are more than just providers of entertainment for the millions of fans who watch the beautiful game every week - League clubs are at the very heart of 72 diverse communities across England and Wales.
The community arm of The Football League governs, advises and audits the 72 charitable trusts associated with the professional clubs of The Football League. Collectively, these have an annual turnover of over £35 million, and 2,500 members of staff who deliver a wide range of projects under The Trust's four main themes of Sport, Education, Inclusion and Health.
In the past twelve months these projects have engaged with over 1.3 million people of all ages, in projects ranging from sport for children, employment skills for the homeless, drug rehabilitation and estate-based projects to reduce anti-social behaviour.
In addition to helping its members secure funding on a local and regional basis, The Trust brings in central funding of around £8 million from a variety of private, public and third sector sources which it allocates to its members as core funding and for specific projects.