Following the devastating earthquake across the border of Turkey and Syria, we wanted to let the Arsenal family know how we are continuing to stand in solidarity with those affected by the disaster which has left major devastation and a horrific and increasing death toll in the tens of thousands.
Last week, we granted a donation to Save the Children’s appeal through The Arsenal Foundation to further support children, families and local communities devasted by this humanitarian disaster.
Supporters can still donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal
We have continued to monitor the situation closely and we are now stepping up our support by assisting the local response to the tragedy.
We have been working with our long-standing partner, HIS Church, a charity we worked with to deliver 500,000 meals to local communities during Covid-19, as well as north London’s Turkish Cypriot Community Association (TCCA) to understand what else can be done to support those in desperate need.
TCCA is a local organisation based in nearby Green Lanes and Stoke Newington which are both home to large Turkish communities with many Arsenal supporters. Through their close contact with people on the ground in Turkey, the TCCA has identified that there is an urgent need for sleeping bags.
Leveraging HIS Church’s expertise in providing ethical and environmentally friendly ways of distributing essential stock to vulnerable people, we have been able to source 1,500 sleeping bags for immediate distribution to those who need them most.
The lorry load of sleeping bags were taken to Heathrow Airport today by a delegation which included Head of Arsenal in the Community, Freddie Hudson along with representatives of TCCA, HIS Church, the Turkish Police Federation and the Turkish Embassy. The goods are being flown directly to Istanbul where upon arrival they will be distributed to the regions affected.
Freddie Hudson, said: "We couldn’t stand by and watch the suffering without reaching out to our local Turkish community and supporters in north London to offer our support.
“Thanks to close collaboration with TCCA, HIS Church, The Turkish Police Association and The Turkish Embassy we were able to respond quickly. TCCA highlighted sleeping bags as a priority need and within a week we were standing on the tarmac at Heathrow with a juggernaut loaded full with 1,500 ready for Istanbul.
"Along with this aid, we are sending our love and hope from north London to everyone in the region that has been impacted.”
We also want to send a strong message to the Syrian communities impacted by the earthquake. Our Coaching for Life project in the Syrian refugee camp in Za'atari is supporting the families there who are worried about their loved ones back home.
We will continue to keep our supporters up to date with our response to the tragedy.
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