Doctor Michael Seeraj, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for Charlton Athletics Community Trust was at Blundell Park recently to meet players and management to discuss how the club can play a major role in initiatives that will help promote inclusion and equality for all in North East Lincolnshire.
Charlton Athletic's Community Trust is the only professional football Club in Europe to have a dedicated department that focuses specifically on equality & integration, it is the current English Football League Community Club of the Year.
Michael oversees an award-winning CARE Partnership which is a unique collaboration between the London Borough of Greenwich and Charlton Athletics Football Club. Under Michael’s lead, the CARE partnership has been recognised as an example of Best Practice by the Governments Commission on Integration and Cohesion (CIC), as an "outstanding example of excellence and innovation in urban integration practice" in the Cities of Migration Report: Good Ideas from Successful Cities: Municipal Leadership on Immigrant Integration. On top of this, The Care Partnership has received an award for their Outstanding Contribution for Promoting Equality and Tackling Discrimination from Kick it Out. Michael formed part of the European Union (EU) Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) influential programme that examined exclusion and anti-discrimination across the EU Member States, and he also Chaired the London Football Association (FA) Equality Advisory Group.
With Michael's experience and expertise, it is hoped that the Grimsby Town Sports and Education Trust and its partners can look towards developing similar initiatives that may help build a stronger and more inclusive community.