Arsenal and adidas extend partnership for youth knife crime initiative ‘No More Red’

Tom Williams



adidas and Arsenal have launched the next chapter of their No More Red campaign, an initiative first launched in January 2022 to support the long-standing work being done by Arsenal in the Community to help keep young people safe from knife crime and youth violence.

Although the number of teenagers killed as a result of violent youth crime dropped significantly in 2022 in comparison to 2021, there were 11,502 knife offences recorded in London between January 2022 and November 2022, an increase compared with the corresponding period in 2021.

Both parties remain steadfast in their long-term commitment to create safe spaces for young people to play sport in the capital, provide better access to trusted role models, and shine a light on talented individuals who are making a positive difference in their community.

Throughout the initiative adidas also be investing in creating and refurbishing safe spaces to play football, including the pitch on Harvist Estate just minutes away from Emirates Stadium. They are also continuing their No More Red mentorship scheme where young people doing positive work in the community will be supported by creative talent including Idris Elba and Ian Wright who are fronting the campaign.

As part of this campaign, Arsenal replaced the iconic red home shirt with an entirely white kit for their FA Cup away tie against Oxford (as they did last year in their FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest – the first time their home kit hasn’t been white since the club’s founding in 1886).

The Arsenal women's team will support the initiative by wearing No More Red pre-match training kit and anthem jackets against Chelsea on Sunday, January 15.

The kit will never be commercially available and will instead be awarded to individuals who are making a positive difference in the community.

Inspired by the impassioned response to last year’s launch, this year they are expanding No More Red; inviting members of the public to be part of the campaign by volunteering with one of our charity partners:

- Arsenal in the Community

- The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation

- Steel Warriors

- Don’t Stab Your Future

- Box Up Crime

- Copenhagen Youth Project

- St Giles Trust

- Abianda

- Octopus Community Network

- The Ben Kinsella Trust

Each person who volunteers with one of the above as part of the scheme can receive their own No More Red shirts and will be invited to watch us play at Emirates Stadium.

In addition to the volunteer scheme, in 2023 No More Red will continue to focus on:

1. Investing in safe spaces to play football, with work planned to redevelop a community pitch in Kings Square Estate, Islington later this month

2. Awarding and recognising local young champions identified as positive influences in their communities

3. Developing social action projects, which will:

- Bring together groups of young people from the local community and connect them with inspirational talent from the creative and sports industries

- Include paid opportunities for these young people to work on creative projects that leave a positive mark on their community, such as art installations, community events and awareness campaigns

Idris Elba, founder of Don’t Stab Your Future and mentor as part of No More Red said: “From the time young people leave school, until the time they’re at home with family, there is often a void, a dangerous spike of nothing to do, where nothing can easily turn to something dangerous. If there continues to be no options for this after-school period, we will always see gangs form. Let’s create options for these young people.”

Ian Wright MBE added: “Every young person deserves the opportunity to express themselves. The opportunity to exist within a safe environment. The opportunity to live free from fear of violence. We can never accept loss of life through youth violence as ‘normal’ in our city and it’s so important that we all work together to create a better environment for young people.

“By giving young people more places to play sport, more support, and access to individuals who can inspire them, together we can help make a difference to young people in London.” Visit the campaign page here.

Images via Arsenal FC.

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