Arsenal legend Charlie George took a trip down memory lane recently when he visited the site of his former childhood home in Islington.
McCall and Hollins House, which is located close to the Odeon cinema on Holloway Road, has overseen widespread transformation since Charlie grew up on the site in the 1960s, and is now home to a fully refurbished astroturfed pitch, made possible thanks to funding from The Arsenal Foundation and a number of other partners, including Islington Council Housing and the Home Office.
The recently opened facility plays host to Arsenal in the Community sessions several nights a week, providing local young people with a safe place to play football. One of these programmes is Positive Futures, a national community-based inclusion programme that gives young people the chance to develop the skills needed to get on a positive career path and take on roles as active and responsible citizens.
During his visit, Charlie met some of the young people currently taking part in the Positive Futures programme, which has been managed by Arsenal in the Community since 2004 and now boasts the Highest Gold Star rating from the Home Office.
As well as football activities, regular attendees to the site are taken on organised outings and residential trips, while employment opportunities are provided for those wishing to make the step from participant to volunteer and then employment.
The McCall and Hollis House facility is the latest in a long line of recently upgraded facilities on local Islington estates that have benefited from funding from The Arsenal Foundation, including Girdlestone, King Square, Harvist and Aubert Court.
Launched earlier this year to celebrate Arsenal’s 125th anniversary, The Arsenal Foundation was launched to help the Club engage more young people than ever before and continually move forward in growing its community work. A fundraising and grant-making organisation, The Arsenal Foundation will help to grow the reach and effect of the programmes that the Club supports to help an increasing number of young people across the globe fulfil their potential and help their communities thrive.Copyright 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 14 Nov 2012