Arsenal Football Club has been recognised for its outstanding work supporting young individuals making the transition from care to adult life, with a From Care2Work Quality Mark award – a national recognition awarded by Catch22 National Care Advisory Service (NCAS) which acknowledges those local authorities who demonstrate a commitment to improving employability and helping care leavers into the world of work.

Arsenal in the Community has been working for over two years with the Islington Council Leaving Care Service to enhance the opportunities for young people leaving care and to help them fulfil their potential in adult life.

In order to identify those individuals most in need of support, Arsenal in the Community staff met with local authorities to understand the backgrounds of the young people in care in more detail.

Upon completion of this process, the Club was able to identify suitable programmes within the Community department for the young people to join, based on their interests and aspirations.

Five of the young people that were referred to Arsenal in the Community through the Islington Councils Leaving Care Service joined the Arsenal Employability Programme – a bespoke 12-week employment and education scheme delivered by the Club in partnership with City and Islington College, that saw the individuals involved successfully graduate to receive a Level Two Certificate in Work skills accredited by Edexcel.

The programme covers all aspects of employment, from preparing for an interview, how to act in the workplace, rights and responsibilities at work and developing a career progression plan. There are also various opportunities to gain entries to employment through the programme with Arsenal’s matchday caterers, Delaware North Companies.

Other youngsters referred to the department joined Arsenal in the Community’s Positive Futures coach education programme, which sees successful participants receive a Level One Coaching Certificate and the National Citizens Service programme, an initiative which sees individuals participate in a group social action programme and two week summer residential.

Mardouche Yembi, one of the youngsters previously in care who has found his feet volunteering on the Positive Futures project, said: “I am really pleased to have this opportunity with Arsenal. They have helped me a lot and given me so many opportunities. Now I am coaching and really enjoying it. This is what I really want to do in the future”.

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17 Oct 2012