Last week, Chelsea FC Foundation continued to support a vast number of young people in our communities through our half-term provision.
This included welcoming 20 young carers to Stamford Bridge to take part in a football session, stadium tour and mental health workshop.
The young carers aged between 11 and 16 years old were from Wandsworth Young Carers Project, an initiative which allows young carers to visit regularly in order to get a break from their caring responsibilities.
The project offers carers the opportunity to participate in activities and interact with other young carers, while offering a space where friendships can be built and maintained.
The day started at Eel Brook Common where the group took part in a football session, including passing drills and a five-a-side tournament before a well-earned lunch and then an exclusive tour of Stamford Bridge.
The young carers then took part in a workshop delivered by the Mental Health Foundation in one of the Millennium Suites overlooking the pitch, before they received gifts from the Chelsea Foundation including matchday tickets for the home fixture against Southampton the following day.
Gareth Davies, social inclusion manager at Chelsea FC Foundation, said: ‘We were delighted to welcome these young carers to Stamford Bridge. The day was a great success and I hope to welcome the group to some of our Kicks sessions very soon so they can continue to engage with us.’
Louise Christie, senior manager at Wandsworth Young Carers Project, said: ‘Huge thanks to Chelsea FC Foundation for inviting our young carers along for what was a fantastic day. It is so important for young carers to be able to take a break from their caring roles and they were given an amazing day which they will remember for a long time.’
Heather Lewis, project manager at the Mental Health Foundation, said: ‘We loved the opportunity to engage with these brilliantly creative and competitive young people. We laughed a lot and together thought about how everyone, even professional football players, struggle with mental health, as well as how we can each support ourselves when we do too.’
Also during the half-term break, Chelsea Foundation engaged with over 20 young people within Hammersmith and Fulham on our Holiday and Food programme which is aimed at promoting healthier lifestyle choices and ensuring the children are provided with two healthy meals per day during half-term.
The programme consisted of football activities including another five-a-side tournament, with participants also taking part in health lifestyle masterclasses and workshops focused on discrimination in football.
The young people of the Holiday and Food programme were also treated to a personalised tour of Stamford Bridge and the Chelsea FC Museum.
George Bournous, senior youth inclusion officer at Chelsea Foundation, said: ‘It’s great to be able to keep young people engaged during the school holidays with physical activity, workshops and stadium tours. We provide healthy snacks and lunches and by combining physical activity with healthy eating workshops we are able to help young people make better and healthier choices.