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Armfield 'lost for words'

Dennis Armfield with the 2015 Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award. (Photo: AFL Photos)
Dennis Armfield with the 2015 Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Carlton’s Dennis Armfield says it’s a “massive honour” to win the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award, and admits he’s “still a little bit lost for words”.

On Monday evening during the Brownlow Medal count, the 28-year-old was recognised for his outstanding work in the community, taking home the prestigious award named after the late Jim Stynes.

After volunteering at Odyssey House Drug and Rehabilitation Centre for the past two years, the versatile on-baller was announced as an Odyssey House ambassador in August 2014.

Not wanting to just be a “name to the program”, Armfield continued his weekly visits – consistently giving those in need a friendly face to talk to.

Dennis Armfield gives his acceptance speech. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Speaking to 3AW’s Neil Mitchell, Armfield said he wants to change the way society views those recovering from drug and alcohol addictions.

“It’s something I have a real passion for. I want to help people and I want to help break the stigma around drug and alcohol addiction, so it’s something I wanted to get involved in any way I could,” he said.

“I think a lot of people in society write-off people who have addiction problems and think of them in a negative light.”

Through the people he’s met at Odyssey House and the stories he’s heard, Armfield knows how easily someone’s life can change.

“You meet some very clued in people that have just had some issues in life, have chosen the wrong path or have gone the wrong way.

“Through the help they get at Odyssey House, you just see amazing people come out the other side – that’s what I want to get out there.

“Not everyone has to be written off, let’s give these people a chance to prove what great people they are.”

In addition to his work at Odyssey House, Armfield is also a regular contributor to the Carlton Football Club’s community programs at the Royal Children’s Hospital and Parkville Juvenile Justice Centre.

As part of his prize Armfield will receive $20,000 from the AFL to be donated to the charity or community programs of his choice.

Keep up the wonderful work Dennis!