It is with great pleasure that we introduce The Merit Group, a dynamic and community-focused Kent business dedicated to the youth game in our County as they enter their third season as our Kent Youth County Cup Partner.
The Merit Group’s profound belief in the transformative power of sports, coupled with a genuine passion for football, sets the stage for a collaboration that extends beyond the pitch.
We caught up with Kelly Fawn, Marketing Manager at The Merit Group.
For those who do not know of The Merit Group, can you tell us more about the company?
"The story of the Merit Group began nearly 40 years ago in a humble shed in the back garden of our CEO Roy Ashford, offering partitions and suspended ceiling services to the commercial sector. This swiftly led to the inception of Merit Office Installations (MOI) building lasting relationships with many premium office furniture manufacturers and carrying out office fit-outs throughout London and the UK. Today, MOI offers a comprehensive office installation and commercial move service including storage, distribution, refurbishment, and recycling carrying out major projects for clients such as Sony Music, Nike, Facebook, Snapchat, Blackstone, the BBC, and JP Morgan to name but a few. By 2017 we had developed a solid infrastructure, gaining ISO 9001 status as well as other industry accreditations paving the way to expand the Merit Group to welcome industry experts to launch divisions that complement our brand, our family ethos, and our underlying goal to achieve service excellence by delivering tailored solutions which exceed expectations. Merit Spaces provides all aspects of building services in the residential and commercial arena from design and planning through to construction and finishes. Merit Insulation Supplies provides the HVAC trade sector with high-quality and specialist insulation products. Merit Professional Services improve workflow efficiency within the workplace through managed print, voice, and data solutions and managed IT services."
How many people do you employ in Kent?
"We are proud to employ almost 100 staff locally from Kent as well as using many local sub-contractors on a regular basis. Staff development and investing in our team is a particular priority for us. We have always recognised the value in people, and the benefits a safe and nurturing working environment can provide to them. Widening the reach beyond the biological family is always a bold and cautious step for any family-owned and run business, but Merit has always welcomed people into their fold with open arms, making them feel part of the family almost immediately. To this end, investment in skills training, job-specific qualifications, and competencies as we seek continued success, career growth, longevity, and security for its people are paramount in the upcoming years, with defined aims for individuals and teams being outlined and supported."
You are the Kent FA's Youth County Cup Partner – why did The Merit Group decide to support youth grassroots football?
"Football is a team sport that is easily accessible to all and we are delighted to see the rise of girls football along with the continued popularity amongst boys. Football has long since been a huge part of our family with all the generations enjoying playing or watching the game. We have seen first-hand the benefits both physically and mentally, forming friendships, feeling part of a team, working hard to improve or achieve a win...the list is endless. Coupled with how we feel our core values align seamlessly with the amazing team at the Kent FA it was simply a no-brainer to partner with the Kent FA to support grassroots youth football and be a part of contributing positively to our local young people.”
We understand that you are working with several grassroots clubs to support their printing needs. How has the relationship with Kent FA helped, if at all?
“We have started supplying Herne Bay and Dartford at the beginning of the season. Our relationship with the Kent FA certainly aided in starting the conversation and giving us that initial credibility.”
The Merit Group recently supported the Business Sixes Cup as a sponsor and with a team entry. How did you and your colleagues enjoy the day?
“It was a great day that everyone enjoyed and the sponsorship of the event, is something that works very well for us. We have gotten to know every company that has attended, and it has helped with those initial introductions. Plus, it’s good to get some time out of the office!”
What has been a partnership highlight so far?
“My personal highlight has been the video draws. It is something I didn’t see coming when we started this, but the whole process is great fun, and the teams in the cups really engage with it.”
The 2023/24 season is well underway. What are you looking forward to the most this season?
“The finals. We are incredibly well looked after, and getting to see the teams play in stadiums and on pro pitches, is a great experience. You also start to notice the increased standards of the play year on year, and it's great to see. “
This partnership encapsulates the essence of businesses supporting their community through a shared passion of grassroots football. Through collaboration with local partners such as The Merit Group, football creates bonds that resonate with its stakeholders. The true victory lies not only in the success of the game but in the enduring relationships built on common ground, making this local partnership with The Merit Group, an invaluable asset in the beautiful games journey within the Kent football community.
To find out more about The Merit Group head over to themeritgroup.co.uk
If you want to learn more about Kent FA's partnerships, please contact Claire Whybrew, Head of Marketing and Partnerships at Claire.Whybrew@KentFA.com