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Monday 14 April 2014

Szczesny paints the town red for Centrepoint

Goalkeeper and members of Arsenal staff help refurbish a new facility for young homeless people

  • Wojciech Szczesny applies the red paint to the Centrepoint office building in Dean Street

  • The 23-year-old said he enjoyed helping to create something of benefit for the homeless

  • Arsenal fans, players and staff raised over £500,000 to renovate the building

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny said it was "amazing to be a part of something special" after volunteering to help refurbish a new building for youth homelessness charity Centrepoint.

The Poland international turned up at the site in London's Soho to help paint the exterior walls of the state-of-the-art health and well-being building for homeless young people in Dean Street, as Arsenal pledged their ongoing support for the charity by volunteering player and staff time to the project.

The facility's refurbishment is funded by the north London club through money raised throughout the 2010/11 season as part of the 'Be a Gooner, Be a Giver' campaign in which supporters, players and staff raised over £500,000 to renovate the building which will provide services to help homeless young people get back on their feet and back into society.

"It's amazing to be a part of something special"
Wojciech Szczesny

Main Contractor 8build, has been refurbishing the 4,000 square-feet building as its 'giving back project 2014' at zero profit, by stripping out and making structural modifications to create a space which includes new counselling rooms, a recording studio, main hall, kitchen facilities as well as some much needed office space for the Centrepoint Health and Wellbeing team.

And Szczesny joined the group of staff representing a number of club departments who rolled up their sleeves and joined in with the decorating. "It's amazing to be a part of something special," said the 23-year-old. "Not just the fundraising, but actually helping towards making the building a place where homeless young people can come to help themselves to a better future."

Nick Connolly, Head of Corporate Development at Centrepoint, added: "We can't thank Arsenal and the club's fans, players and staff enough for all they've done to help us create a state-of-the-art Health and Wellbeing Centre on Dean Street. 

"Tackling youth homelessness is about more than providing a safe place to call home: a third of the young people we work with have a mental health problem, many have physical ailments as a direct result of homelessness and many more simply do not know what it means to live healthily.  

"Once the centre is complete, our counsellors and healthy living advisers will have the purpose built facilities they need to help homeless young people at Centrepoint turn their lives around."

For more information on Arsenal Football Club's charitable giving visit thearsenalfoundation or follow @AFC_Foundation on Twitter

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Key Points

  • Arsenal's Wojciech Szczesny helps out at homeless charity Centrepoint
  • Gunners goalkeeper and several members of Arsenal's staff helps refurbish facility in Soho
  • Arsenal supporters, players and staff raised over £500,000 to renovate the building which will provide services to help homeless young people get back on their feet