Arsenal Football Club was born out of community when a group of munitions workers came together in 1886 to form a football team to escape the monotony of factory life.
Even in its earliest days Arsenal wanted to serve its community – always aware of the crowd, the attention it drew and how this could be used to positive effect.
Arsenal’s early matchday programme ‘cards’ were sold for a penny to raise money for Homes for Working Boys in Beresford Street, Woolwich, when the Club was located in its original home in south London. Just before the Club’s relocation to north London, in April 1912, Woolwich Arsenal organised a special match at which fans of the Club raised over £100 for the Titanic Disaster Fund.
With this ever growing demand and awareness that the Club could reach people in a way nobody else could, Arsenal in the Community was born to respond to social unrest in the 1980s. The department’s first education and training project, Action Sport, began in the mid-1980s and over the past quarter of a century and more, Arsenal has extended its offering to include numeracy, literacy and language programmes, as well as a number of other health, social inclusion and sport projects.
In the mid-2000s, the Club’s charitable giving was consolidated towards a designated Charity of the Season and over the past decade, charities such as David Rocastle Trust, Treehouse, Teenage Cancer Trust, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Centrepoint have all benefited from partnerships to fund new facilities and projects supporting young people.
To help even more young people around the world to fulfill their potential, The Arsenal Foundation was launched in May 2012 and since then has committed more than £1million to support a range of community and charitable projects in the UK and overseas, including those of the Club’s official charity partners Save the Children and Willow Foundation.
This level of support can only be achieved through the support and generosity of The Arsenal family – each year, players, staff and supporters get involved with a range of activities to raise awareness for and fundraise for the Foundation.
With more exciting domestic and international projects in the pipeline, The Arsenal Foundation is ensuring that the Club’s community and charitable efforts continue to go from strength to strength.Copyright 2015 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