Jenkinson visits new Hackney pitch - Pictures
Residents on the Suffolk Estate in Hackney welcomed Arsenal's Carl Jenkinson last week when the right back visited a newly refurbished pitch in Benjamin Close to celebrate the launch of The Arsenal Foundation.
The multi-purpose games area and pitch was made possible thanks to funding from The Arsenal Foundation and other partners including Mears Group and the Metropolitan Police, who came together to transform the site which had fallen into disrepair.
As well as removing and dismantling old metal goal and basketball posts, trenches were dug to accommodate new floodlights and a new brick wall built 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.
During his visit, Carl met stakeholders and joined a mini-football session with some of the young people set to benefit from the new facility. Upon learning of the work of the Foundation, the defender 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.”
Sandra Butler, Mears Projects, Head of Business Support said: “This project, along with the other work Mears carries out in the area, demonstrates our commitment to the communities we work in. This pitch will make a real difference to the local area and young people, and we were happy to support the project by donating our time and expertise."
The official launch of The Arsenal Foundation will be marked at the Club’s flagship fundraising event, the Arsenal Charity Ball, on May 10, 2012, when Arsène Wenger and the first-team squad come together with guests to raise funds and celebrate the work Arsenal undertakes in the community and for charity.
The Foundation will enable the Club to continue its long history of helping others through charitable donations and using the power of the Arsenal name to positively engage its community in a meaningful way. Its work will focus largely on motivating and inspiring young people - often through education and sport - to help them reach their potential and be the best they can.
The diverse work the Club undertakes in the community and projects delivered by its global partnership with Save the Children will be supported by the Foundation to reach even more young people.