A look back at the first year of Network Rail’s sponsorship deal with MK Dons Sport and Education Trust.
As part of Network Rail’s relocation to Milton Keynes in August of last year, employees at the Quadrant:MK were keen to become integrated within the local community, and where better place to start than the former home of MK Dons Football Club.
In September 2012, a three-year Partnership between Network Rail and MK Dons Sport and Education Trust, the first of its kind for Network Rail, was signed, and is now a designated Disability Partner.
The agreement included support of six of the disability teams – four of the youth teams and two of the wheelchair teams. With over 200 participants within the Sport and Education Trust, Network Rail has since provided new playing kits for its six teams.
On 12th November, Network Rail hosted the MK Dons Sport and Education Trust (SET) at their new offices in Milton Keynes for a look back at the first year of the deal. MK Dons Chairman Pete Winkelman, John Cove, MK Dons SET Chief Executive and Inclusion Manager Dennis Woolford were on site along with a number of the players to talk about the Partnership and what it means to the Trust.
MK Dons Sport and Education Trust were amongst twenty local groups chosen for the Network Rail Connecting Communities project, launched in September of this year; a project to invite and encourage employees working at the Quadrant:MK to use their volunteer leave allowance and undertake a range of opportunities working with the teams as ambassadors, coaches, managers and team leaders.
Since the launch, a number of Network Rail employees have signed up and started their volunteering for the Sport and Education Trust, and found it both an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Also as part of the agreement, the Network Rail football league had the opportunity to play their final game of the season at the stadiummk. Network Rail also attended the Disability Awards event in September.
Considering the year ahead, both parties are looking forward to more joint activities, developing the volunteering opportunities within the Connecting Communities project and developing the relationship even further.
Back Row: John Cove (CEO SET), Ty Ward (NR Sport & Social Club Chair) Philippa Callcut (NR Connecting Communities Chair) Martin Williams and Graham Druce (MK Dons players), Pete Winkelman (Chairman MK Dons FC),,Sam Hoare (MK Dons Player), Denis Woolford (SET Inclusion Manager).
Front Row: - Alan Watson and Richard Hillier (MK Dons Wheelchair player manager and player)