2 01 A message from Arsène Wenger Community has always been at the heart of Arsenal Football Club and I have been incredibly proud to have seen the Club s initiatives grow and deliver consistent results in a number of important areas. When we enter the stadium on a matchday, myself and the players are greeted with the words, The deeper the foundations, the stronger the fortress and I believe that this is very appropriate when talking about our work in the community. What makes a Club survive in the long-term is not always the top of the tree but its roots it is these roots that we need to extend and make sure that they grow and penetrate into the community, both here in the UK and increasingly, internationally. It may not be the most glamorous part but, in my opinion, it is the most important part. Since our global partnership with Save the Children launched in 2011, we have learnt a great deal about the charity and the exceptional work that they do in the UK and overseas. Through the generosity of the players, staff and supporters, we have already been able to fund programmes both here in the UK and in China to help give more disadvantaged children the chance of a better future. We know that the power of the Arsenal name can open doors to young people who may otherwise be lost to society. This is why we have created The Arsenal Foundation of which I am proud to be an Ambassador. Our aim with the Foundation is to work even harder to extend those roots of community work further and deeper in our local communities and further afield, so that more young people can be the best they can be. Arsène Wenger Manager, Arsenal Football Club Ambassador, The Arsenal Foundation
3 05 The Arsenal Foundation Story The Club continues a lifetime of community focus HISTORICAL PIC Arsenal legend, Charlie George, visits a refurbished pitch in Islington that has been supported with a grant from The Arsenal Foundation Arsenal Football Club was born out of community when a group of munitions workers came together in 1886 to form a football team to escape the monotony of factory life. Even in its earliest days Arsenal wanted to serve its community always aware of the crowd, the attention it drew and how this could be used to positive effect. Arsenal s early matchday programme cards were sold for a penny to raise money for Homes for Working Boys in Beresford Street, Woolwich, when the Club was located in its original home in south London. Just before the Club s relocation to north London, in April 1912, Woolwich Arsenal organised a special match at which fans of the Club raised over 100 for the Titanic Disaster Fund. Community remained at the beating heart of Arsenal Football Club over the years, with a regular Boxers v Jockeys Football Match at Highbury in the 1950s in support of The Sportsman s Aid Society, as well as visits by first-team players to the Holloway Hospital at Christmas to spread some festive cheer for young patients a tradition which remains to this day. With this ever growing demand and awareness that the Club could reach people in a way nobody else could, Arsenal in the Community was born to respond to social unrest in the 1980s. The department s first education and training project, Action Sport, began in the mid-1980s and over the past quarter of a century and more, Arsenal has extended its educational offering to include numeracy, literacy and language programmes, as well as a number of social inclusion projects that often lead to accredited qualifications. Over the years, society and issues may have changed, but Arsenal in the Community has been the constant a continued and trusted presence for many young people in its local community. To celebrate the Club s 125th anniversary, The Arsenal Foundation was launched to help engage more young people than ever before and continually move forward in growing its community work. A fundraising and grant-making organization, The Arsenal Foundation will help to grow the reach and effect of the programmes the Club supports to help an increasing number of young people across the globe fulfil their potential and help their communities thrive. The Foundation will work hard to raise funds for and materially raise the profile of a powerful combination of charity partner projects including those of Save the Children and other key charity partners. Since 2003, Arsenal has helped a number of charities such as Teenage Cancer Trust, TreeHouse and Centrepoint, all of which supported education projects to help young people fulfil their potential in challenging times. With the help of The Arsenal Foundation, the Club will ensure that this long legacy of helping young people to become the best they can be continues to go from strength to strength.
4 06 The Arsenal Foundation Case Study The Arsenal Foundation continues the Arsenal Charitable Trust s legacy by supporting the Club s many community projects and the global charity partnership with Save the Children. In April 2012, Arsenal first-team player, Carl Jenkinson, visited a newly refurbished pitch on the Suffolk Estate in Hackney an area that has been blighted by gangs and anti-social behaviour. Made possible thanks to a donation from The Arsenal Foundation and other partners, the site has been transformed with old metal goals and basketball posts being removed to accommodate new floodlights and a brick wall at the back of the pitch. Local youngsters, meanwhile, made their mark on the new site by producing bespoke artwork around the sides of the pitch, which will provide a positive focus for an area that has been blighted by gangs and antisocial behaviour. Upon learning of the work of The Arsenal Foundation, Carl said, When I came here [to the site], I didn t realise how good the pitch would be. The surface is fantastic and I think it s great that it gives kids an opportunity. To come down here today and see where the money is going and the happiness it brings people is great. The Arsenal Foundation is a great idea and for kids to have a place like this where they can play football in a safe environment is fantastic.
5 09 Save the Children Global Charity Partner Launched in July 2011, Arsenal Football Club s partnership with Save the Children is one of the primary beneficiaries of The Arsenal Foundation. The first collaboration between the two partners saw the Global Children s Panel - a group of young ambassadors from all corners of the globe that act as for the charity s work - treated to a private tour of Emirates Stadium, in which they outlined their hopes and aspirations for the partnership. Over the course of the Emirates Cup weekend in July 2011, the partnership was introduced to supporters, with one of the many youngsters supported by Save the Children s Families and Schools Together (FAST) programme, Nor-Ann, receiving the honour of delivering the match ball to the referee ahead of Arsenal s game with New York Red Bulls. In October, the Arsenal first-team squad received a presentation in which they learned more about the charity s work both in the UK and overseas. The presentation introduced players to the charity s work in anticipation of the Dedicated Matchday against Fulham in November, in which players and many staff donated a day s wages to the cause. Supporters were also encouraged to get involved via a host of fundraising initiatives that took place in and around Emirates Stadium on the day, including fundraising initiatives, and the sale of limited edition co-branded sportsbands, as modeled by the Arsenal players. In March 2012, the partnership went truly global when Arsenal supporters and keen runners from more than 20 countries around the world got involved in the Club s Be a Gunner. Be a Runner event, raising more than 50,000 for the charity. 750 runners at Emirates Stadium were joined by supporters and groups overseas that took part in simultaneous and independently-organised runs as far afield as Australia, India, Poland and Nigeria, to help spread the word about the partnership. The Club s commitment runs deep and a great number of Arsenal staff have supported the cause through a range of fundraising activities including the Club s annual pub quiz hosted by Dermot O Leary, marathons, three peak challenges and cycle rides, making an instant impression on everyone connected to the football club. Young Arsenal fans take part in the annual Be a Gunner. Be a Runner. event at Emirates Stadium
6 10 Arsenal has helped set up two new FAST projects at schools in Islington Save the Children Case Study Helping children in the UK The Arsenal Foundation is supporting Save the Children s projects in Islington to help children fulfil their potential by improving relationships and communication between families and the wider school community. Supported by a donation of more than 50,000, Duncombe Primary School and St. Mark s Primary School recently embarked on an eight-week programme called Families and Schools Together (FAST). FAST enables parents to develop the skills and confidence they need to better support and take a more active role in their children s education, while playing a greater role in their community. In order to deliver the programme, Save the Children worked to create a team of FAST practitioners at each school, comprising local parents, community leaders, school staff and local authority staff. These teams have then helped to deliver a series of weekly sessions, during which a selected group of families have taken part in practical and fun activities, designed to improve children s wellbeing and help develop their relationships. To celebrate both schools coming to the end of their respective programmes, graduation ceremonies were held to recognise the achievements of all participants. Members of Arsenal staff have also been given the opportunity to visit the schools and experience FAST first-hand. Speaking about the positive impact of FAST at Duncombe Primary School, Headteacher, Barrie O Shea, said: I m enormously grateful to the parents for coming back to FAST week after week and supporting their children in the programme. Without a doubt, FAST has had a positive effect on those families who have attended over the past eight weeks and we at Duncombe look forward to taking part in the programme again. I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Save the Children and Arsenal for making it all happen. Mrs Dina Hantour, one of the mothers to successfully complete the FAST programme at Duncombe, added: The best thing about FAST has been being able to spend time with my children outside of our home. I m so busy at home, and when we are at FAST I know I have two hours to be with my children and enjoy our time together. My children have taken what they have learned at FAST home with them.
7 12 Save the Children Case Study Supporting Disadvantaged Children in China Over the next three years, with The Arsenal Foundation s generous support, Save the Children will improve the quality of education for at least 15,000 children aged six to 15 attending some of Beijing s most under-resourced disadvantaged schools. Children attending Beijing s over-subscribed disadvantaged schools are often unable to understand lessons delivered in Mandarin. One teacher said The students are from various provinces and some of them have never left their hometowns before so cannot speak Mandarin. I speak a lot in the classroom, but students still don t know what I am saying. Together, Arsenal and Save the Children will partner to train teachers in disadvantaged schools so that they have the skills they need to plan and deliver improved and child-friendly lessons for students, helping them to fulfil their potential. Save the Children believes that children s right to an education is as basic as their right to food and water. Education transforms lives and gives children the opportunity to escape poverty by giving them the skills and knowledge they need to be the best they can. At least 67 million children around the world still can t access a primary education. Even when children can go to school, poorly trained teachers, overcrowded classrooms and a lack of books means they learn little or drop out. Through its education initiatives, Save the Children helps millions of children to get a positive start in life by building classrooms, supporting teacher training and providing schools with books and learning materials. Working in over 30 of the world s poorest countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia means that Save the Children are at the forefront of efforts to ensure that the entire world s out of school children get an education. Arsenal and Save the Children s combined efforts will reach thousands of children in China and many more across the globe, providing them with quality education to build a brighter future and reach their full potential. Arsenal Chief Executive Officer, Ivan Gazidis, visits a school in Beijing to meet youngsters who have benefited from the Club s charity partnership
8 Thomas Vermaelen, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere show their support for The Arsenal Foundation ahead of the Club s Annual Charity Ball 2012
9 17 Arsenal in the Community Providing opportunities that make a real and lasting difference The Arsenal Foundation will enable the Club s work in the community to continue to grow and make significant and often life-changing contributions to the individuals and communities that it supports, both in the UK and internationally. For almost 28 years, Arsenal in the Community has galvanised a unique approach to community work, which is both direct and delivery focused and helps individuals and communities to thrive and become the best they can be. Many individuals currently employed by the department have graduated through Arsenal in the Community projects themselves, allowing its programmes to remain relevant and representative. The work of the Arsenal in the Community can be split into five main areas: sport, education & training, social inclusion, diversity and health. EDUCATION & TRAINING Arsenal in the Community s current provision caters for the varying training and education needs of the local community, often making contributions to gaps in mainstream education. At any given point there are over 150 students on full-time Arsenal training and education programmes. Of particular interest in the current economic climate are the opportunities that participants are offered through the Arsenal Employability Programme, a bespoke employment and education scheme that helps develop the employability skills of young people that are not in education, employment or training (NEETs). Providing employment pathways and ensuring that young people are ready for work has become increasingly important to the Club s work in this field. Arsenal players, including French defender Bacary Sagna, have supported the Double Club Languages Programme SPORT Although football is at the heart of much of Arsenal in the Community s work, the department has built a credible reputation in a range of other sports. Premier League 4 Sport has established a network of activities in volleyball, table tennis, judo and badminton to help boost participation in these sports ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games and more recently has introduced basketball, handball, hockey and netball following a further 2million investment from the Premier League. The department s longstanding hockey programme, meanwhile, continues to introduce inner city children to a sport that they may otherwise find difficult to try. Football, of course remains at the heart of much of the department s work and positioned correctly can be used to deliver effectively against many Government priorities. Another hugely successful education programme that the department runs is the Arsenal Double Club an award-winning initiative that fuses football and education together to form a fun and enjoyable way for young people to engage with their academic studies. As well as developing resources to support citizenship, literacy and numeracy learning, the Double Club Languages programme has gone from strength to strength, with several schools across the country now following the Arsenal blueprint with modules in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian or German. And it s not just domestically where the Club is making an impact through education. The Arsenal Gap Programme provides internships for students to coach with the Club before offering a unique experience to teach children overseas, in countries as far afield as Bahrain, Barbados, Israel, Kenya and Uganda.
10 18 SOCIAL INCLUSION Using the Arsenal brand to engage and then prioritise social contributions ahead of social outcomes has proven to be an effective way of addressing the many challenges faced by young people in inner city areas. Connecting to disengaged individuals and groups is difficult and although the Club does not claim to have solutions to some of the complex issues they face, the unique power of the Arsenal name has enabled the department to engage with and make significant contributions to a number of individuals and communities. A range of social inclusion programmes currently take place across London (Camden, Hackney, Islington and Westminster), providing a variety of education and training opportunities for young people. Two of these programmes include Arsenal Positive Futures and the award-winning Arsenal Kickz project, which helps to support and create safer, stronger and more respectful communities through the development of young people s potential. DIVERSITY Arsenal in the Community delivers education workshops around the diversity agenda. World on Our Doorstep is an annual schools programme that celebrates the diversity of the Club s first-team squad, a rich diversity reflected locally in the Club s North London home. Arsenal for Everyone is an ongoing programme which embraces the diversity and equality of the Club and its fan base. In November 2011, Arsenal became the first football club to win the Advanced Level of the Equality Standard, recognising the Club s actions to promote diversity and equality in the community, engage with fans and develop Club policies and processes to create equal opportunities for all. The department also delivers a number of disability football sessions in the local area for various groups. HEALTH In 2010, Arsenal in the Community began football sessions for adult mental health service users in Islington. Along with other partners in the borough, the department signed a pledge entitled Time to Change, England s most ambitious programme led by mental health charities, Mind and Rethink, to end discrimination faced by people who experience mental health problems. In collaboration with Time to Change, Arsenal in the Community embarked upon a two-year programme entitled How are you feeling today?, funded by the Premier League and Sport Relief which aims to improve social inclusion and wellbeing for people with mental health problems in the Club s local area, while tackling discrimination. Thanks to funding from the Premier League/PFA Fund, the department also now runs a series of Healthy History Walks for local groups around Islington, based on the area s local history. The walks which are designed in conjunction with Islington Museum and which feature Highbury s famous marble halls within the new Highbury Square development, aim to educate people about their local area, while enabling participants to take advantage of the associated health benefits of walking. Arsenal s Exercise on Referral Programme receives GP referrals for adults in need of physical activity to improve their health. NHS Islington set robust targets in a shared drive to reduce the long term cost of health treatment. Other Arsenal health programmes provide support and guidance to young people within the areas of sexual health, drug & alcohol and healthy eating, highlighting how well placed a football club can be aside from the natural health benefits of participation. Get Involved The Arsenal Foundation is a registered charity, no To find out more about The Arsenal Foundation Visit: By Post: The Arsenal Foundation, Highbury House, 75 Drayton Park, London, N5 1BU. Follow us on Twitter To make a donation or raise money for The Arsenal Foundation please visit
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