Arsenal Football Club is dedicating its Premier League match against Fulham Football Club to its Charity of the Season, Centrepoint, London’s largest youth homeless charity.
As part of the day, players and Directors will be donating a day’s wages to help raise funds for the charity, while supporters are also encouraged to get involved and give what they can to contribute to the Club’s ‘Be a Gooner. Be a Giver.’ campaign, which aims to raise £500,000 throughout the season to create a state-of-the-art facility for homeless young people at a refurbished centre in Soho.
A host of fundraising initiatives will take place in and around Emirates Stadium at the match and a number of volunteers will be collecting at Emirates Stadium giving supporters the chance to give what they can. 50 pence from every matchday programme sold will go to the charity and fans can also get their hands on a limited edition co-branded Arsenal and Centrepoint bobble hat, which will be on sale before the match at the All Arsenal and The Armoury stores and on the podium outside the stadium. They will be £10 with all proceeds going to the charity.
Supporters are also invited to enter a fundraising competition to win a trip for two to Dubai in a charitable text-to-win raffle. The prize has been generously donated by Arsenal’s Brazilian midfielder Denilson, with flights courtesy of Club sponsor Emirates Airline. Fans can enter by texting ARSENAL to 83023 for their chance to win. Texts cost £3 with at least half the money from each text being donated to Centrepoint. Club partners Citröen will be at the stadium creating a bespoke piece of artwork using remote controlled cars, which will be auctioned off in support of the campaign.
Speaking ahead of the dedicated matchday, Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, said: “Centrepoint do some fantastic work with young homeless people across London, helping them to develop essential life skills to get back on their feet and stay off the streets permanently. We are delighted to be showing our support by donating a day’s wages, which will enable Centrepoint to continue their important work in the capital.”
“Having been involved with our Club’s charities for a number of years now, I am always struck by the amazing generosity shown by our supporters, so I hope that they will join us yet again in supporting this worthy cause and dig deep on Saturday to help raise essential funds towards the ‘Be a Gooner. Be a Giver. campaign.”
Arsenal Football Club CEO, Ivan Gazidis, added: “Centrepoint do some fantastic work with young homeless people across London, helping them to develop essential life skills to get back on their feet and stay off the streets permanently.
“We’re delighted to be showing our support today in a number of ways which will enable Centrepoint to continue their important work in the capital and raise awareness of what they do. We encourage all supporters to get behind this campaign in the same way they always have done for our work in the community and with the Charity of the Season partnership. Their help and support is vital to the success of this initiative.”
Arsenal will also give 19 year-old Kareem Leigh the opportunity to carry the match ball out onto the pitch alongside the two teams before kick-off. Kareem became homeless after suffering a series of setbacks and family problems. He is currently supported by Centrepoint who are helping him to secure a positive future and a chance to stay off the streets permanently.
Seyi Obakin, Chief Executive of Centrepoint, added: "We are very much looking forward to Centrepoint’s dedicated matchday and are grateful to the players, Directors and supporters for helping us towards our target of raising £500,000 to refurbish one of our services for homeless young people in Soho. The money will make a huge difference to the lives of homeless young people in London, helping them reengage in education and work and gain essential life skills to help them look forward to a brighter and more confident future.’
For more information on the Charity of the Season partnership and to donate, visit www.beagoonerbeagiver.orgCopyright 2013 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 1 Dec 2010