Arsenal Football Club officially opened a new state-of-the-art Lung Function Unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London on Thursday - a legacy from the Club’s partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity during the 2009/10 season, which raised more than £800,000.
The event marked ‘one month to go’ until the Club’s dedicated charity matchday against West Bromwich Albion on December 8, when players, staff and supporters will come together to raise funds to help more good causes which transform the lives of young people.
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger was joined by Carl Jenkinson and Jack Wilshere on a tour of the Arsenal Lung Function Unit, which will provide essential care for children who suffer from a range of respiratory problems. The new facility has been designed to provide a well planned, modern and spacious environment in which to treat children and their families and will help young patients of all ages.
During the visit, the group met some of the patients who will benefit from the new state-of-the-art unit while testing out some of the equipment for themselves, such as the new body plethysmograph and incremental step test. Wenger was joined by Paul Aurora, Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine and Lung Transplantation at Great Ormond Street Hospital during his weekly press conference to preview the weekend’s London derby against Fulham. Paul explained the power of the hospital’s relationship with Arsenal in more detail and outlined how everyone at the Club - including fans, staff and players - were able to make the new unit possible.
Once again, in the build up to Christmas the Club will dedicate a Premier League matchday to fundraising and giving, which will see Arsenal players donate a day’s wages to The Arsenal Foundation in order to help even more good causes to transform the lives of young people. Supporters and staff will also be encouraged to give what they can through a variety of initiatives which will take place on and around the matchday.
Speaking about the opening, Wenger said: “Everyone at Arsenal should feel incredibly proud that their generosity has helped to create such a wonderful new unit, which will help thousands of young children visiting Great Ormond Street Hospital. This facility highlights the power that a football club can play in its local community and with our dedicated matchday on the horizon once again, I would encourage all supporters to continue showing their support as it really does make a difference.”
Aurora said: "Before the Arsenal partnership, the facilities within the Lung Function Unit badly needed updating. The amazing generosity of the Arsenal players, staff and supporters has enabled us to create this fantastic new department that will be used by patients from small babies right up to teenagers. We are so grateful to everyone at Arsenal Football Club for their support."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 9 Nov 2012