Charlton's community honour

The chief executive of Charlton's acclaimed Community Trust has been saluted in the New Year's Honours List.

Last Updated: 30/12/13 at 23:51 Post Comment

The Valley: The Jason Morgan-led community initiative was founded when Charlton

The Valley: The Jason Morgan-led community initiative was founded when Charlton

Jason Morgan founded the club's community initiative in 1992 and has masterminded its growth into an organisation that now employs 80 full-time staff and inspires 10,000 young people each week.

Now head of the group, which was renamed the Charlton Athletic Community Trust in 2003, Morgan is awarded an MBE for services to football in the community.

"It was a nice shock," he told Sky Sports News. "It's a personal honour but it's recognition for the Trust for what it's done over the years and for the great work done by the staff.

"It's a huge programme that engages 10,000 young people a week - some brilliant staff, great trustees - and a really great club. We're a nice community club that's well known for being a community club.

"The coverage that Sky have given us over the years has been brilliant - but what we've done over the last 20 years has been groundbreaking.

"What has been really pleasing is how we've done a lot a work around education and social inclusion - and how we've used football to address other issues. Running (Greenwich) council's youth programme was a big part of that - it was recognised this year with the Football League's Community Club of the Year Award.

"I started in 1992 - I didn't know a lot about the club and it was at an important time in the club's history. Alan (Curbishley) and Steve (Gritt) were the managers and I was in on the meeting where it was decided we were going back to The Valley - we'd lost a generation of fans so my remit was clear, just to re-engage fans. It was a great time to be around Charlton Athletic.

"You look at how the club has grown over the years and the Community Trust has been a big part of that."

Under Morgan's guidance, the Trust has led projects aimed at tackling street violence, social exclusion and physical inactivity, as well as taking its message to the poorest townships in South Africa.

"I knew the power of football and I knew that traditional methods don't always have the best results," Morgan added. "If football can engage and educate and divert young people away from situations then that's what you've got to use it to do.

"We've embedded ourselves locally - we're a "go-to" organisation - a lot of other organisations have come to us and said: 'Look, there's a problem - what can you do?'

"And that's where I've got to salute the staff - what I do is great but I play a small part. The front-line staff are the ones that make all the difference. For me, it's an easy job to have when we've got the depth of staff that we've got."

Morgan has already been honoured with three Business in the Community awards, as well as a Jubilee Award for outstanding achievement over a ten-year period.

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