The Imps’ dedication to fan engagement has been further recognised by achieving the EFL Family Excellence gold standard for the first time in the club’s history.
The award was given to City based on their efforts towards family inclusivity and fan engagement through the work that’s carried out in Poacher’s Den, as well as well as the rest of the club on matchdays. City are one of only 12 EFL clubs to achieve the gold family excellence status for the 2022/23 season, going one better than last year.
Now in its 15th season, the Family Excellence scheme is an ongoing consultation programme which aims to drive continuous improvement and best practice in family engagement across the leagues. The scheme sees each EFL club receive two mystery family visits throughout the season, with their feedback and reports determining whether each respective club would achieve Family Excellence status.
The EFL’s report included aspects from all areas of the club such as the website, social media, ticketing and other matchday offerings.
Rob Noble, head of supporter services, said: “It is great to be recognised and a lot of people deserve credit for helping us to achieve it. We have a real focus on family engagement at City and we will continue to do what we can to help build a safe and welcoming environment for everyone who comes to watch the matches at the LNER Stadium.
“The feedback particularly singled out the introduction of Poacher’s Den, our family-focused area run by our Foundation, for praise and everyone involved in their matchday provision across the stadium footprint has really helped us achieve this gold standard for the first time.
“There was also brilliant feedback for the University of Lincoln Fan Village where our local food and drink vendors as well as organisations such as the Red Imps Community Trust, Lady Imps Supporters Association and others join the Foundation and our catering partners Elior in providing such a welcoming environment for fans of all teams.”
City chairman Clive Nates added: “Thank you to everyone at the club and Foundation who has made this happen – it has been a key ambition since we returned to the EFL. In our first season back we did not even meet the basic criteria for Family Excellence, and it has taken a lot of hard work to now be one of only 12 clubs in the EFL to reach this gold standard.
“Congratulations to Rob and his team at the club who have put a lot of thought into how we maximise our family offering, as well as Danny Carter and the whole matchday team from the Foundation who work closely with the club and have really driven our matchdays forward through Poacher’s Den and their other activities. And, of course, thanks to the many supporters – not least our SLO team – who are the heart and soul of the club and make matchdays what they are.”