Arsenal in the Community held a Celebration of Achievements awards afternoon in the Woolwich Suite at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

The inaugural event took place to recognise the achievements and work of Arsenal in the Community students, participants and volunteers over the course of the 2012/13 season.

Hosted by Tom Watt, awards were presented to students and volunteers across a range of programmes including Arsenal Double Club and the Arsenal Employability Programme.

There was a surprise in store as well for the youngsters when former Gunners captain Tony Adams and fellow legend Charlie George were welcomed on stage to hand out the accolades to the successful individuals.

As part of the event, a number of students took part in a Q&A discussion to share their experiences with Arsenal in the Community and highlight their future ambitions. They were joined by England and Team GB hockey international, Darren Cheesman, himself a successful graduate of the department’s Gunners Hockey Programme.

Speaking after the ceremony, community manager Freddie Hudson said: "We've spoken for many years about having cross-department awards that recognise all of our projects and all of the young people that have achieved throughout the year.

"We take a great deal of pride in our long-term approach to these projects. We don't like to dip in and out of communities. If we invest in a community, we go into a long-term arrangement with them. Darren is a product of that.

"He started with us when he was at primary school, just down the road from here. He's been on a hell of a journey with us and it's great to see him come back to tell his story and show the many other participants that they can achieve and fulfill their potential.

"We're fortunate with the hockey programme that Darren has started on, as it has been sustained throughout that time. It's currently receiving funding from The Arsenal Foundation so that we can continue that work with other young people. Hopefully some of them can go on to achieve great things like Darren has."

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 24 Jul 2013