Arsenal Football Club bid a fond farewell to its Charity of the Season 2010/11 today and celebrated the end of a successful partnership with the charity which helps homeless young people have a future.
Centrepoint's Chief Executive, Seyi Obakin accompanied by Arsenal fan Nasir Ahmed, who has benefitted from the charity's work, joined charity champions and Arsenal staff to celebrate a successful year which saw the Club exceed its fundraising target of £500,000. The money raised will fund refurbishment of a state-of-the-art service in Dean Street, Soho. The centre will help homeless young people across London to develop essential life skills to get back on their feet and stay off the streets permanently.
CEO Ivan Gazidis said: "I'm very proud that Arsenal's staff, supporters and community embraced the partnership and not only succeeded in surpassing the fundraising target but more importantly engaged people in the process. There have been a number of highlights across the partnership and I'd like to thank everybody involved for participating and making the partnership such a huge success."
Seyi Obakin added: "We are so grateful to everyone at Arsenal Football Club for their support throughout the season. The fantastic amount of money that was raised has helped us surpass our original fundraising target and will enable us to make significant strides towards creating a newly refurbished facility at Dean Street in Soho that will benefit many young homeless people that the charity supports."
The partnership saw a number of exciting initiatives which engaged Arsenal supporters, players, staff and partners. In December, the Club dedicated its Premier League match against Fulham to the charity and saw players and Directors donating a day's wages to the cause and staff giving what they could. Special edition bobble hats were produced and sold out fast and an Arsenal first was celebrated when 19 year-old Kareem Leigh, who had once played against Jack Wilshere in the West Ham academy, delivered the match ball to officials on the day to help kick-off this special matchday.
The Club's automotive partner, Citroën were also involved in the initiative which saw an exciting collaboration of Arsenal players and artist Ian Cook to create a unique piece of artwork using radio controlled cars. The finished piece depicting a goal celebration featuring Arsenal players was auctioned at the Club's Annual Charity Ball for £4,000.
In March, the Club saw the most successful 'Be a Gunner. Be a Runner.' event with staff joining 600 runners at Emirates Stadium for 10 laps around Arsenal's home.
The Annual Arsenal Ball was the grand finale to the partnership which saw Eliza Doolittle and Bryan Ferry headlining at this prestigious event attended by the manager and the first team which raised over £300,000 for Centrepoint and the Arsenal Charitable Trust.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 22 Jul 2011