Mertesacker: Arsenal in the Community is for everyone

18 May 2019
Per Mertesacker, Arsenal

Per Mertesacker sees how Arsenal in the Community is giving help and opportunities to people tackling mental health issues

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Every week at the Arsenal Hub, located right next to Emirates Stadium, participants from Arsenal in the Community's mental health programme meet to play football, socialise and keep active.

The programme is run in partnership with Camden & Islington Mental Health Trust and gives people tackling mental health issues a safe and supportive place to play.

"I've been coming for two and a half years now," says Glory, one of the participants in the programme. "And I have hardly missed a session.

"Football is everything to me. I've been playing football since my dad took me when I was around 6 years old. This is just right for me, I show them my skills."

See: Video with subtitles and sign language

Glory is one of the footballers who have had challenges to overcome during their involvement with the programme but the sessions have supported them and helped them stay positive.

The sessions also provide opportunities for participants to move into education, accredited courses and employment while some of the group have represented Arsenal in tournaments across the country.

Arsenal's mental health project is being supported and expanded with the help of the Premier League/BT Disability Fund and for their latest video to highlight the work of the scheme, club captain Per Mertesacker went along to take part in a session.

"As an Arsenal player, I'm very proud to come here to show up and show some respect for them because they play a huge part in our community as well," he said. "Arsenal is for everyone."

See: Arsenal in the Community's disability programme

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