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Friday 29 November 2013

Arsenal help local youngsters take the stage

Gunners Fund helps local youngsters learn about theatre and club history through puppetry

The youngsters performing "George - the 100-year-old fan"

The clubs in the Barclays Premier League carry out on a daily basis programmes promoting football and other sports in their local communities. But the assistance the clubs provide to people around them is not limited to just these areas. Sometimes a relatively small amount of money, compared with the large community programmes they have in place, can make a huge difference.

One such example of this is at Arsenal, where the Arsenal Foundation's Gunners Fund has helped some local youngsters learn about puppetry and theatre.

"It has been a great week getting to know the history of Arsenal"
Lynette Shanbury

Little Angel Theatre, in Islington, North London, works with schools, families and community groups on imaginative education and participation activities that raise aspirations and improve confidence, teamwork and tolerance and it received £2,500 from the Gunners Fund.

This grant enabled the theatre to stage a special puppetry and film performance in collaboration with Islington Museum and Arsenal in the Community, to celebrate the club’s 100 years in Islington.

After taking tours of Emirates Stadium, the Arsenal Museum and Islington Museum, a group of 11-16-year-olds comprising Junior Gunners and others from local estates helped to write the script and make the puppets used for the performance.

The group performed their piece, 'George - the 100-year-old fan”, to a packed VIP audience at an event to celebrate the centenary.

"It was great to see the young people working together so well after only a week," Lynette Shanbury, of Little Angel Theatre, said. "They did their performance brilliantly and it has been a great week getting to know the history of Arsenal. We are very pleased that Arsenal and Little Angel Theatre were able to work together on this truly local project.”

The performance is on view at the 'It's Arsenal Around Here' exhibition, which runs at Islington Museum until January 2014.

Little Angel Theatre is boys and their fathers to show their creative side with a special Arsenal-themed puppet making workshop at Islington Museum on Saturday, 7 December. To find out more, visit

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Key Points

  • Arsenal Foundation's Gunners Fund helps puppet theatre inspire local youngsters celebrate the 100th anniversary of their move from south to north London
  • The Little Angel Theatre got local youngsters to write and perform play about history of Arsenal
  • Such projects can improve confidence of kids and raise aspirations
Tags: Arsenal