Last week our retail team lent their expertise to Arsenal Foundation partner, Willow Foundation, and their charity shop in Welwyn Garden City, where we transformed the shop with Arsenal memorabilia and stock.
Our retail team donated a huge selection of Arsenal-branded clothing and merchandise to raise more money for the partnership to support special days for seriously ill young adults aged between 16-40.
Following in the club’s footsteps, the public and supporters were encouraged to donate their old football kit and memorabilia to Willow, and the response saw hundreds of shirts and items donated to the store. Arsenal vice-captain, Laurent Koscielny, personally donated bags of clothing from his own family, all of which were on sale on the day too.
Arsenal legend and Willow life president, Bob Wilson, was presented with a framed Arsenal shirt, worn by Theo Walcott at our annual dedicated charity matchday where players and the manager donate a day’s wages to the Arsenal Foundation.
With the words ‘Playing for Willow’ printed on the shirt, the gift celebrates the partnership between Willow and the Arsenal Foundation which to date has committed over £300,000 to the charity founded by Bob and Megs Wilson in 1999 in memory of their daughter, Anna, who lost her battle to cancer at the age of 31.
Bob said: “It’s a huge boost to have Arsenal’s support of Willow’s charity shops, bringing much-needed awareness and support to the cause. We rely on the generosity of local people to donate items and volunteer at the shops to help us fund Willow special days and encourage our local football supporters to get involved and donate their kit.”
The Willow Foundation became our charity partner in 2013 and since then we have donated over £330,000 to fund unique special days for seriously ill young people. Our latest donation of £140,000 will be used specifically to fund special days for young people living with conditions such as motor neurone disease, muscular dystrophy and Huntington’s disease.
As part of a successful partnership, we are able to offer a number of special days for young supporters with us at Arsenal.
To date, Willow has provided more than 14,000 special days for young adults diagnosed with cancer, motor neurone disease, cystic fibrosis, organ failure and Huntington’s disease, amongst other serious illnesses.
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