On Sunday 29th November Arsenal Football Club is dedicating its Premier League match against London rivals Chelsea Football Club to its Charity of the Season, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, and the Gunners are hoping to raise over £200,000 on the day.
Arsenal players and Directors will be donating a day’s wages to help raise funds for the world-renowned children’s hospital and are encouraging supporters to give what they can through the ‘Be a Gooner. Be a Giver.’ campaign. The Club has a £500,000 target to reach over the 2009/10 season and this dedicated matchday will be a milestone for the partnership on the road to achieving this goal.
There will be a number of fundraising activities taking place at Emirates Stadium on the matchday and to mark the special nature of the match, Arsenal players have participated in a short promotional film alongside Great Ormond Street Hospital patients. The light hearted advert, entitled ‘Fundraising Day’, reflects the players’ support for children and their families who are treated at the Hospital. The Gunners stars appear in furry animal mascot costumes completing the task set by the patients; to fundraise on the streets of London to raise money for the charity.
Arsenal Captain, Cesc Fabregas who stars in the advert and who will lead his players in donating a day’s wages said: “This is a massive amount of money that we’re hoping to raise but we really think we can do it with the help of the general public. We are giving a day’s wages and if all our supporters can give what they can too, I’m sure we can reach our target for the charity. I have met many of the patients and it gives me great pleasure that Arsenal is involved with the Hospital.”
Arsenal Manager, Arsène Wenger added: “The team and I have met some patients from Great Ormond Street Hospital on several occasions throughout the partnership so far and we’re all struck by the strength and courage they show in fighting their illnesses. We understand the importance of helping to improve the facilities at the Hospital and we’re encouraging all Arsenal fans to help in whatever way they can.
“The generosity of people in this country amazes me and makes me very proud to work and live in England. It is fantastic to see this generosity towards the charities we support every season and on Sunday at the dedicated matchday I’m sure this generosity will be seen once again from the Club’s staff, supporters and the wider public too.”
Dr Jane Collins, Chief Executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital said: "We're so looking forward to our dedicated matchday and so grateful to the players, directors and fans for raising money to help us build our new Lung Function Unit. It will make such a difference to our patients and their families.”
The advert was created and shot by the agency, Brothers and Sisters and includes a voiceover by dedicated Gooner, Barbara Windsor MBE, who is also a former patient and long-time supporter of Great Ormond Street Hospital. The film will appear on www.beagoonerbeagiver.org from 18 November in the run-up to the dedicated matchday and aims to encourage supporters to join in and donate through the site.
Steve Shannon, creative director from brothers and sisters, comments: “We were happy to give our time to this project and all our crew really enjoyed themselves over the two days of filming. It’s a serious message and a great cause, but we also wanted to highlight the importance of giving, which for these Premier League footballers, meant more than money. We also wanted to make the film really fun - the players were great sports dressing up in the costumes and the relationship between the kids and the players shines through on film.”
Over the course of the season, through the ‘Be a Gooner. Be a Giver.’ campaign, the Gunners will aim to raise £500,000 which will help Great Ormond Street Hospital build a new Arsenal Lung Function Unit for children who have difficulty breathing or sleeping. The money raised, through fundraising initiatives such as the dedicated matchday, will fund this brand new Unit which will make such a difference to the patients and families at the Hospital.
For more information on the partnership, to watch the film and donate visit: www.beagoonerbeagiver.orgCopyright 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 27 Nov 2009