Over the course of the 2022/23 season we will hear from a wide range of local people who have benefitted from Arsenal in the Community projects. Here we find out more about how Riley, 17, from Islington, is gaining new skills and greater confidence from our Employability programmes.
Project: Arsenal Employability Provision, ESF Targeted NEET Programme in partnership with Capital City College Group
Participants since starting: 500
Weekly participants: 15
Sessions: Throughout the year
Available to: Any individual aged 16-25 from Islington, Camden and Hackney who is looking for work
About the participant: Riley has been involved with Arsenal in the Community for several years, having previously taken part in our Double Club Programme while at a local primary school. He joined our ESF Targeted NEET Employment Support Programme in partnership with Capital City College Group and has progressed into education and on to our Saturday Jobs Programme.
Participant Riley says…
“I first heard about the project from Jack Ferguson when I attended a meeting at The Hub. I have been aware about other projects with the Community team, especially Arsenal Kicks, which I’ve attended previously. When I heard about the project, I immediately knew it was something I wanted to do, especially because I’m a fan of the club.
“At the time I was offered a chance to enrol on this project I had just started to get back into education after a few years away, and I thought it was important I did get back into it. The first time I went I was nervous about meeting new people but I became comfortable quite quickly and made some new friends. I have been able to have work experience opportunities on the market stall at Queen’s Crescent as well as submitting a job application with Nando’s.
“I’ve made some good friendships, but one really stands out – I joined the project with him then he became my work colleague at the stall. The staff at Arsenal have been amazing and really helpful, especially when helping to incorporate my disability and making me feel comfortable. Being a part of the project has helped me gain a lot of confidence and made me more encouraged to talk to people.
“I have learned some really good people skills while working at the market, including feeling more comfortable when around new people. I have been able to implement them in my everyday life, like when going out to football pitches and having the courage to start a conversation with people.
“I would encourage people to join the programmes. There are so many life skills and different things to learn. I feel it has made me more mature and has helped me to start new friendships with people I didn’t think I’d be friends with.
“What surprised me most is that the staff are really understanding and it’s like talking to a friend most of the time. Being a part of Arsenal means everything to me. My mum and dad have brought me up from a young age to love Arsenal and that’s exactly how I feel about the club.”
Staff feedback: “Riley has shown a variety of skills through our employment programme, including teamwork, interview skills and enthusiasm to develop his career. We look forward to supporting Riley in his next steps.”
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.