Arsenal in the Community

Community round-up | January 2023

Mascots walking out with our players at Emirates Stadium

January has seen our Arsenal in the Community and Arsenal Foundation teams hit the ground running with a very busy start to 2023. 

Last month’s work features the start of a new girls' project created and run by Lotte Wubben-Moy, a surprise visit from Leah Williamson and more achievements for our Coaching for Life programme in Zaatari. 

Coaching for Life 

Our work in Jordan reached an incredible milestone as we completed our eighth 20-week cycle, providing physical, emotional and mental wellbeing for children who have escaped war or have been displaced due to conflict. 

Graduation ceremonies took place for the cohort last month, with further celebrations scheduled for the end of February when Drew Tyler and coaches from our local Coach Development Programme will be in Jordan. 

We have added another 240 boys and 240 girls to the programme who will benefit from regular sessions that build resilience through football. 

Academy Player Leadership Group 

Academy Player Leadership Group

Our community team visited Hale End last week to talk to the Academy Player Leadership Group (APLG) about poverty, a topic chosen by the group as their area of focus for the year ahead. 

The players listened to a presentation about different types of poverty – such as food, fuel and the cost-of-living crisis – and what Arsenal in the Community has done to address these challenges locally, notably through its donations to food banks on matchdays.

The youngsters presented ideas Dragon’s Den-style, on how to address issues related to poverty. These included writing a letter to MPs on the installation of solar panels, creating a poster that could be included in our matchday programmes and hosting cooking sessions to equip young people with the skills required to enter employment. 

It was a fantastic day all round, and we’re hoping to bring the APLG to The Hub during the February half-term to learn more about the work of the community and see how the local food bank works.   

Community Shape Up programme  

Our Shape Up Pilot finished in December with some outstanding results.  

Shape Up is our weight-management programme specifically designed for men. The 12-week behaviour-change programme provides education around nutrition in a non-judgemental, sustainable and engaging way. 

More than 80 per cent of participants completed the course, while the majority of attendees reported that they had maintained improved levels of physical activity. An impressive 29 out of 38 lost five per cent of their bodyweight.   

Our next two Shape Up courses are already underway and have been running for three weeks, with the next available courses running in April. 

A huge thank you to Rhys Ratcliffe, our Health & Wellbeing Coordinator, who has been running these sessions. If you or anyone you know is interested in coming along, please get in touch with Rhys. 

Wubben-Moy launches Time To Explore project  

Lotte Wubben-Moy at the Emirates

In January we kicked off Time To Explore, our new eight-week programme created and delivered by our defender Lotte Wubben-Moy and Helen Staniland, our Education Projects Coordinator. 

This programme is designed to give girls a chance to explore how to express themselves through football, art, and writing in a non-traditional way. 

Our first ‘squad’ of 16 girls from Highbury Fields School are discovering a range of creative outlets with the assistance of guest speakers from Duppy Designs - a creative design agency, #Merky Books, Islington Ecology Centre, and Football For Future. They will also attend a trip to the Twist Museum of immersive illusions. 

The conclusion of the programme will be a display of the girls’ work, which will be created using items selected from a local charity shop. 

Strength and Balance classes 

Due to high demand our Strength and Balance classes are now full and we’re now exploring additional funding to roll out additional sessions from our local healthcare professionals. 

The classes are specifically for those over the age of 55 that would like to increase their independence, reduce the risk of falls and improve their strength and stability. 

We have recently welcomed our oldest members to the group aged 92 and 93! 

Leah surprises our Football Plus girls

Mascots walking out with our players at Emirates Stadium

As part of an activation with our partner, Mastercard, Leah Williamson surprised participants at our Football Plus girls' after-school session for six to nine-year-olds. Leah delivered a short coaching session to 25 lucky participants, with 11 invited to be mascots at the WSL game against Chelsea. The remaining 14 participants were given two tickets to the game courtesy of Emirates and invited to a special player welcome as the teams arrived. 

Thank you to Leah and Mastercard for a very special experience enjoyed by our participants and their parents! 

Pulmonary rehab sessions 

We’ve entered into a new and exciting relationship with Whittington Health to provide community-based pulmonary rehabilitation sessions for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory conditions due to long-term drug and alcohol abuse. 

The sessions take place at The Hub with the exercises delivered by our community health coaches under the supervision of local qualified pulmonary rehab physios. This programme will run for a year with a view to extending the project further. 

Arsenal x BCOMS masterclass  

BCOMs masterclass

Arsenal in the Community hosted the Black Collective of Media in Sport (BCOMS) Masterclass Event at the Emirates Stadium. We’re proud to support BCOMS aims to diversify the sports media landscape. 

The evening consisted of a Q&A panel with five of our colleagues who gave timely advice and encouragement to students on how to gain experience in sports media. 

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