Midfielder recognised for off the pitch workRoyals midfielder Hope Akpan has been shortlisted for the PFA's Player in the Community award at next month's Football League awards.
The 23-year-old has been recognised, along with Elliot Omozusi of Leyton Orient and Danny Shittu of Millwall, for his outstanding contribution to the local area off the pitch.
Akpan volunteered to take the position of Social Inclusion Ambassador at the club in 2014, becoming a frequent visitor to numerous projects throughout the Reading area. He made 14 Community Trust appearances throughout 2014, visiting youth clubs, football tournaments and taking part in activities ranging from table tennis to a cracker eating challenge!
Dave Evans, Reading FC Community Trust Manager, said: "Bringing Hope to our projects to meet young people can really inspire them and help to increase their self-esteem and wellbeing. Hope taking the time to speak with the youngsters we engage with, show an interest in their wellbeing and has acted as a huge engagement tool throughout 2014. What’s more, the positive implications this has on the youngsters, many of which are in hard to reach areas, cannot be underestimated."
Community Trust Cohesion Officer Jay Gilbert said: "‘Hope has shown a real appetite for his Social Inclusion work throughout 2014. His communication with the young people, propensity to listen, and all round approachability has made him a true inspiration for all he encounters. Hope has deservedly received local recognition for the fantastic work he is doing, we hope that the wider audience can acknowledge this."
Take a look at our YouTube video below for an insight into Hope's fantastic work in the Reading area.