The founder of Aberdeen FC’s community arm says he will look back with fond memories as he leaves for pastures new.
Ally Prockter was drafted in more than six years ago as the club’s head of community – and was in charge during an overhaul which saw the AFC Community Trust (AFCCT) become a charity in its own right.
Since it was formed five years ago, the trust has helped thousands of people across the north-east.
People have participated in its activities more than one million times – and the trust even scooped a top Europe-wide award for its dementia-friendly programme.
Ally said: “I look back on the last five years with humble satisfaction.
“It would be fair to say we thought it would be successful but it’s turned out to be far more than we predicted.
“One of the many reasons for that is so many people and organisations have got involved in so many things we do.
“We’ve created a huge number of really helpful relationships with schools, local authorities, NHS Grampian and private companies.
“The main reason we are as successful as we have been is because we are tying in everything we do to deliver support where there is a need for it.
“I am really proud of what my team has achieved.
“I am constantly amazed at the number of people through the door. We have passed the one million participations mark.
“We attract around 25,000 people every year, which is an amazing figure.
“It’s been a fantastic journey. There’s been a lot of hard work behind the scenes by a lot of people.
“There’s no way I can pick one highlight. The greatest feeling relates to the impact it has had on the people that have been involved.
“A lot of people who have taken part in programmes have become volunteers and some have gone on to become members of staff.
“The difference it has made to their lives has been spectacular. If I had to pick one programme it would be the Dementia-Friendly Communities things we do. We won an award from the European Club Association for that and we are really proud.”
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Ally, 56, is leaving AFCCT to take up a new role as Alzheimer Scotland’s localities leader for Grampian – and said the move was partly inspired by his work with the trust, as well as his own personal experience.
He said: “My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and my family are living through that process. That’s why I want to go down this road.
“I will be able to take a lot of the things I have learned.
“I’ve learned a massive amount over the last six-and-a-half years.
“As a team we’ve had to solve some quite challenging problems.
“There will still be some overlap with the trust through things like Football Memories. And, of course, I’ll keep going to Pittodrie as a fan.”
He added: “It also allows someone else to come in and take the community trust forward. The organisation is in a fantastic place at the moment and it’s maybe time for me to allow that change to happen.
“The trust is a fantastic vehicle for doing good and it’s a good time for someone else to take it on.”