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Arsenal stars past and present congratulate community heroes

15:51 17 July 2014

Children receive certificates from former  Arsenal player Alan Smith.

Children receive certificates from former Arsenal player Alan Smith.

Archant

Gunners stars past and present were on hand to congratulate winners at the Arsenal in the Community annual awards on Monday.

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Some of those awarded at the Emirates on Monday:

David Mason – An employability participant who joined the programme in January having not achieved any formal qualifications at school. By April he had gained a qualification through the programme and is now working full time on an apprenticeship with Islington Council.

Rhys Shirley Clarke – Mr Clarke is a casual member of staff who has been associated with Arsenal for ten years, from being a participant on the positive futures programme.

He then started volunteering and as part of the placement came to a pupil referral unit each week with staff, who liked him so much that they offered him a full time job.

Roy Pack – The ex-Arsenal and Portsmouth full back, who is the Spirit of Arsenal Picture outside the stadium, now volunteers at every Imagine Your Goals football session and has taken the team to tournaments and other events over the last year.

The gala event at the Woolwich Suite, in the Emirates Stadium, on Monday, saw club legends Alan Smith and Perry Groves dish out gongs, while a video message from midfielder Abou Diaby was also played.

Another former player, Roy Pack, was recognised for his contribution to the club’s community work.

Mr Pack, who played for just once for the club in the 1960s, now volunteers with Arsenal’s mental health programme Imagine Your Goals.

After the ceremony, visitors had the opportunity to have their picture taken with the FA Cup, which the Gunners won in May.

A total for 350 people pitched in for Arsenal in the Community programmes during the 2013/14 season, including Kickz, which gives youngsters across Islington the chance to play football and stay out of trouble.

Alan Sefton, Head of Arsenal in the Community, said: “These awards are a great way for us to celebrate the achievements of the young people we work with, and to take stock of what we’ve achieved together over the past year. There are hundreds of people who make Arsenal in the Community what it is, and it’s brilliant to be able to thank them here at Emirates Stadium.”

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