UCFB graduate Lino Altieri secured himself a fantastic role as Customer Services Representative at MK Dons in July and has since taken the opportunity to get involved in all areas of the Championship club’s business. Lino’s enthusiasm and drive have opened numerous opportunities to him, the latest being the challenging task of managing, from start to finish, the annual MK Dons children’s Christmas party with over 1,000 children and parents in attendance.

MK Dons was formed in 2004 following Wimbledon’s relocation to Milton Keynes a year earlier. The club recognises the continual need to build on its fan base which will inevitably contribute to the successful future of MK Dons, with the Christmas party a crucial part of their young fan engagement strategy. The initial event in 2012 saw around 200 attendees; this has grown dramatically and Lino was entrusted with building and managing the 2015 event.

Football enthusiast Lino excelled in this project from day one, advertising through every possible outlet; flyers, programs, the MK Dons Christmas catalogue, billboards, letters to members, invites to overseas fans and through partners such as The Sports Education Trust department. UCFB Burnley alumni Lino liaised with company and private networks to source free gifts and services and to negotiate discounts, ensuring that as much money as possible went to charity. With the small budget Lino had, he packed the day out with a variety of entertainment, including dance performances, singers, a football cage, arts and crafts and Santa, with the highlight of the day being the MK Dons players taking part in autograph signings and a Q&A session.

We caught up with Lino after the event, who said:

“The whole day was a success and that was my main aim – to ensure every guest had a good time and left with a smile on their face. I’m really happy it was a triumph but it could not have been made possible without the help of all the staff and volunteers involved; from the MC hosting the party right down to the cleaners and the guys on the door. Everyone contributed.

“Now the event is done and I have the experience I will look to build on that. I’m always willing to get involved in club events and the more experience I can gain, the better.”

Event lead Lino and the team received some fantastic feedback including the below from an avid MK Dons supporter:

“We took five of our grandchildren along to the party for the first time and apart from them all having a wonderful time, we too were so impressed at the amount of activities for the children, the players who gave up their time to sign autographs and have photos taken, the entertainment, free soft drinks for the kids, everything. The presents and goody bag on departure were excellent and to be frank, totally unexpected.”