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 educational offering to include numeracy, literacy and language programmes, as well as a number of social inclusion projects that often lead to accredited qualifications.
To celebrate the Club’s 125th anniversary in 2012, The Arsenal Foundation was launched to help engage more young people than ever before and continually move forward in growing the Club’s diverse community work.
A fundraising and grant-making organisation, The Arsenal Foundation has already given more than £850,000 to support a variety of local and global projects over the past year, enabling more young people around the globe to fulfill their potential.
This can only be achieved through the support and generosity of The Arsenal family – the Club’s dedicated charity matchday in December 2012 saw players donate a day’s wages to the Foundation while supporters got involved in a range of different fundraising activities. In March 2013, meanwhile, Gunners fans in more than 30 countries around the world united to take part in the Club’s annual charity fun-run, Be a Gunner. Be a Runner, helping to spread the message of the Foundation and its work around the world, while raising vital funds in the process.
With more exciting domestic and international projects in the pipeline for 2013 and beyond, The Arsenal Foundation is ensuring that the Club’s community and charitable efforts continue to go from strength to strength.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 21 Aug 2012