Town Chairman honoured at Examiner Awards
Huddersfield Town Chairman Dean Hoyle was given the top honour at the 2014 Examiner Community awards last night.
Dean, who is also a trustee of the Club’s charity the Town Foundation, was given the Achievement Award at the Examiner’s awards ceremony, which recognises outstanding contributions to the local area.
Speaking at the event held at the John Smith’s Stadium, he said:
“Hearing about what everyone else has gone through is so inspiring. They think more about how they can help others rather than themselves.
“The positive thing that we can get from all this is that there are so many people across Huddersfield and Kirklees who are determined to put others first.
“What we can do, what we are doing, is through the generosity of so many people giving their time, their money, and their commitment is making a difference.
“We have heard some fantastic stories of personal sacrifice, or personal courage. It never ceases to amaze me how people in Huddersfield are prepared to that extra mile.”
Hoyle was given the accolade for the community work the football club undertakes in its mission to ‘make the difference’ in the local area, with the birth of the Town Foundation in July 2012 and Town’s commitment to the ‘Keep It Up’ campaign and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance also pivotal.
Dean created the ‘Keep It Up’ campaign in 2009 alongside the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Chairman Peter Sunderland, with the Club gifting its main home shirt sponsorship to the charity for the duration of the 2009/10 season in the process.
The Yorkshire Air Ambulance requires £9,990 a day to keep its two life-saving helicopters maintained and in the air, for which it receives no government funding.
Now in its fourth season, the Keep It Up campaign is on the verge of raising £1 million to be split evenly between the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Huddersfield Town Academy. At the heart of that brilliant achievement is the annual ‘Pedal for Pounds’ bike rides, which have seen a cumulative total of over 1,000 Huddersfield Town fans cycle up and down the country to raise money for the cause.
The latest cycle ride took place in late April, when 295 fans joined Dean to retrace the legendary Herbert Chapman’s journey in reverse. Whereas Herbert moved from Huddersfield Town to Arsenal as Manager, the fans cycled from Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium to our John Smith’s Stadium in time for the First Team’s game against Leicester City in a ride dubbed ‘Pedal for Pounds 5 – the Chapman Trail.’
The Town Foundation is the Club’s registered charity. Once again pioneered by Dean, the charity was founded in July 2012 with the remit of ‘improving the lives of children and young people in the community’.
Since its inception, it has served 130,000 free breakfasts to local primary and secondary schools through 16 ‘Early Kick-Off’ breakfast clubs. Across the breakfast clubs, the charity is serving 5,000 breakfasts a week!
The charity has also provided 15,000 free Reading Diaries, helping to encourage literacy in children across 70 schools in Kirklees. Specially designed, these use football as a tool of engagement to make reading ‘cool’.
These initiatives – and others like it – are made possible by the support of local businesses and individuals, but Dean also matches every donation pound for pound.