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Arsenal players spread Christmas cheer

Arsenal players were out and about this week getting into the festive spirit with our local community.

Players visited the local Whittington Hospital in Islington, whilst others spread some Christmas cheer with beneficiaries of The Arsenal Foundation, including Centre 404 - a centre for disabled young people and their families, and 'Pedal Power' - a regular cycling project held at Emirates Stadium every Thursday for the learning disabled community with profound and complex needs.

Club captain Per Mertesacker and fellow countryman and teammate Shkodran Mustafi joined 'Pedal Power' participants in the specially adapted tricycles and side-by-side tandems before rolling into The Hub - Home of Arsenal in the Community, to meet a variety of young people who deliver and participate in the community department’s variety of sport, social inclusion and education projects.

The visit came shortly after The Arsenal Foundation’s dedicated charity matchday against Stoke City on December 10, where the manager and players donated a day’s wages to support projects in both the local and global community.

Centre 404 is just one of The Arsenal Foundation’s beneficiaries, who will host holiday clubs for its users with money donated by the Foundation.

Mertesacker said: "It’s great for us to get out and about with our local community and give back. It’s important that we all see what happens off the pitch and meet beneficiaries of The Arsenal Foundation’s grants.

"It puts relationships into context and can be motivating for people to know that everyone at the club is behind them – whichever projects they’re participating in.”

Whilst some players were spending time out in the community, other players were attending the annual Junior Gunners Christmas Party at London Colney, playing games and having fun with our young supporters.

You can watch a round-up of all of the events mentioned, in the video at the top of this page.