Hot on the heels of being named EFL League Two Family Club of the Year, we are delighted to announce that Luton Town are just one of ten clubs that have been crowned as a 'Gold Award' winner in the EFL's Family Excellence Scheme.
The Hatters have been recognised for providing a benchmark matchday family experience in the 2017/18 season - the only Sky Bet League Two club, and one of only three outside the Championship, to achieve that standard.
A total of 56 EFL Clubs are set to achieve Family Excellence status, with the Town joined by League One sides Doncaster and Blackburn and Championship clubs Aston Villa, Cardiff City, Derby County, Fulham, Middlesbrough, Queens Park Rangers and Reading in being crowned as 'Gold Award' winners for exemplary work in engaging families on matchdays.
EFL Clubs received two 'mystery family' visits throughout the season, with their feedback and reports determining whether each respective Club would achieve 'Family Excellence' status.
The Hatters received a 10-out-of-10 overall rating from the two secret family visits, with the club rated on a range of categories including first impressions, staff engagement, friendiness and how valued the club made each family feel.
Initiatives such as Half-Time Hot-Shots, Family Fun Days, the introduction of a junior supporters liaison officer, The Dugout Exeperience, where a family is chosen to watch the warm-up from the home and away dugouts, and the chance for a junior supporter selected from those buying a Happy Harry's Lunch Bag to interview a player before kick-off, all contributed to the EFL's summary that declared:
"Luton Town have provided two outstanding experiences for our visitors this season demonstarting just how much magic can be delivered when there is a clear family recruitment stratergy genuinely supported by members of the senior team at the club. The fact that both visitors enjoyed such memorable experiences demonstartes a consistency that only goes to show how much that has become part of the club's culture. A quite outstanding performance from a club with many physical constraints to overcome."
Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet said: "Following on from winning the League Two Family Club of the Year award last week, this confirmation of the strides we have made in building such a strong and vibrant family culture at the club tops off a wonderful few days for all of us at Luton Town.
"Winning promotion to League One has been fantastic, but we are equally proud to be recognised as one of just ten clubs out of 72 with a Family Excellence Gold Award, especially considering we didn't even gain the basic family excellence accreditation in our first season back in the League.
"So much hard work has gone into making sure that all our of supporters, and especially families, have such a rewarding matchday experience within the constraints of an old stadium.
"I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible, from the families among staff and supporters that we consulted to put a range of new initiatives in place over the past couple of season to gain the initial family excellence accreditation, to the staff and volunteers who put everything into operation on a matchday.
"We've got a great celebration to look forward to on Saturday as a result of what Nathan and the team have done on the pitch, and these wonderful accolades for what we do off it just adds to the feel-good factor that the club and town is experiencing at the moment."
EFL Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said: "It is hugely encouraging to see the continuous development and improvement made by EFL Clubs in offering engaging matchday experiences for families. For over a decade the EFL's Family Excellence Scheme has helped to produce positive and impactful change across the leagues, helping to drive a real focus on matchday entertainment, facilities and the overall experience on offer for families, and ultimately to assist in growing attendances.
"Its impact continues to be notable with several Clubs gaining strong industry-wide reputations for offering true family value and a consistently high level of service and innovation.
"The EFL will continue to work with Clubs to help drive change and support the continued effort to attract and retain future generations of supporters. Congratulations to the Clubs that have achieved Family Excellence status and to those that have been awarded Gold status in its inaugural year."