Emirates Stadium recently played host to an innovative community project designed to strengthen family relationships in Islington and Camden using the power of football.

The Family Skills Project, run in conjunction with Arsenal in the Community, Family Lives and the National Children’s Football Alliance (NCFA), consisted of a week-long programme with 10 vulnerable families, using principles of football to improve parenting skills through the teaching of non-aggressive communication and behaviour.

The project comprised of 10 parents and 14 young people, all of whom were recruited due to their proximity to Emirates Stadium. Using the link to the Club as a means of boosting engagement, the project’s aim was to bring the families together and use football as a force to improve communication and intergenerational support.

As part of the activity, parents joined their children for fun practical football sessions, while the parents themselves took part in a number of smaller workshops and activities focusing on communication, anti-bullying and child support.

Ernie Brennan, Director, NCFA, said of the scheme: “The Family Skills Project puts the feel good factor back into family football and reinforces intergenerational relationships.”

The project also received a glowing testimonial from those involved with one parent saying that she now ‘loves playing football’ and another parent describing it as ‘fun, informative and helpful’.

By encouraging better discipline and positive behaviour, it is hoped that the families will take their learnings away into their domestic life, enabling their children to achieve greater things at school and fulfill their true potential.

For more information the Family Skills Project or the National Children’s Football Alliance please contact Ernie Brennan on erniebrennan@thecfa.co.uk / www.childrensfootballalliance.com. For more information on Family Lives, please contact Kath Collins, KathC@familylives.org.uk / www.familylives.org.uk and Arsenal in the Community, Ross McKinley rmckinley@arsenal.co.uk.

Copyright 2014 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 28 May 2012