In May we invited 850 regular Arsenal in the Community participants to Emirates Stadium as part of our annual #PlayOnThePitch event. We took the opportunity to measure the impact of our work and learned that participants in Arsenal in the Community activities are happier, healthier and develop a sense of belonging.
As a football club Arsenal exists to perform on the pitch, but community and a sense of social responsibility are at the heart of our values. The Arsenal in the Community department harnesses the power of the club to inspire, motivate and support the communities we serve to thrive.
Over the 22/23 season, Arsenal in the Community engaged with more than 5,000 participants aged five to 70-plus on a weekly basis through the delivery of a wide range of sport, education, social inclusion and health activities. We delivered 7,193 sessions across our host and neighbouring boroughs: Islington, Hackney and Camden.
We learned the following about participants who engage with Arsenal in the Community activities:
Our participants are happier and healthier and gain positive memories and experiences.
•Six out of seven participants, aged five to 70-plus, who attend an Arsenal in the Community activity are likely to enjoy significant improvements to their confidence and mental wellbeing, and gain positive memories.
“The sessions have helped me improve in all aspects of my life and I feel a lot more confident and positive about everything in general. The sessions are a time when I can relax. I don’t have to worry about anything and I can enjoy myself.”
Football Plus participant
Our participants are more active and make healthier lifestyle choices.
•Three-quarters of all participants report that attending an Arsenal in the Community activity encouraged them to make healthier lifestyle choices.
•Nine out of ten participants are more likely to exercise after their positive experience with Arsenal in the Community.
“I really like playing football and Arsenal made me enjoy it even more. Playing more and playing with my friends and meeting new people has made me really happy.”
Kicks Girls participant
Taking part in an Arsenal in the Community activity has led to participants feeling more connected with their local community.
•Participants report developing a greater sense of belonging; with 84% feeling proud of Arsenal Football Club and three-quarters of participants feeling they belong to their local community.
“I feel that we are very lucky to have the resources that Arsenal in the Community provide. It does feel like the club cares about local people. Without exception, the staff are friendly and welcoming and they reflect the ethnic mix of the population.”
Total Body Workout participant
Our staff embody the values of the club and are vital to making participants feel supported and welcome.
•Participants felt that Arsenal in the Community staff set a good and positive example (89%), always made them feel welcome (87%), and felt like they could be themselves around staff (84%)
“Staff were really nice and valued us.”
Primary Stars participant
We also launched our Gunners for Change initiative last season to inspire and facilitate Arsenal players across the men’s, women’s and Academy teams to become more involved in our community projects.
The first year of Gunners for Change saw more than 40 player engagements at 30 community activities.
Academy scholars Josh Nichols, Noah Cooper, Hubert Graczyk and Amario Cozier-Duberry attended Play On The Pitch, inspiring generations of participants and embracing the connectivity of the club.
“To play on the pitch was a great end to the season. I’m sure the groundstaff were clenching their teeth, but a big thanks to them also for letting us run around on their pitch.”
Walking Football participant
With thanks to our partners, staff and local residents for their support. Together, we make a difference.
To learn more about the work we do in the community or to get involved visit www.arsenal.com/community
*Participant impact measurement survey, n=291, participants aged 5-70+, July 2023
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