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20 May 2014

Town Chairman honoured at Examiner Awards

Huddersfield Town Chairman Dean Hoyle will be given the top honour at the 2014 Examiner Community awards later this week.

Dean, who is also a trustee of the Club’s charity the Town Foundation, will be given the Achievement Award at the Examiner’s awards ceremony, which recognises outstanding contributions to the local area.

Hoyle has been given this accolade for the community work the football clubs 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’.

As Dean explained at the time:

“The football club has always tried to engage with its local area through initiatives such as its Football in the Community department, but the Foundation is something entirely different.
“The Club took around 1,000 local kids to Wembley in 2012 for our Play-Off Final and the needs of some of the children in the area, combined with the generosity of the people and businesses that donated £45,000 to the cause, really opened my eyes to just what can be achieved by working together with the football club.
“For me, it is about the need to do the right thing and we’re going to use the expertise of the people at Huddersfield Town, along with the skills of the other businesses that come on board and support us, to improve the lives of thousands of local children in our area.”

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.

Dean will receive the Achievement Award at the Examiner Community Awards on Thursday 22 May.

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