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Chelsea FC Foundation Works To Take Care Of West London

Photo Courtesy Simon Reza

Only two more clubs remain in our series on the Premier League’s Big 6 clubs’ charitable contributions. Today, we look at Chelsea Football Club (FC), the West London team with four Premier League titles, two Champions League trophies, two Europa League trophies, and multiple English tournament crowns. Regarded by opposition fans as the “posh” London club, it is committed to safeguarding its fanbase. 

Formerly under the ownership of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich and now owned by a consortium led by American venture capitalist Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, the Blue Lions are shifting eras. Due to the tribalistic nature of European football fanbases, the club has taken proactive steps to keep its youngest supporters safe from fan violence, abusive language, and other acts of malcontent. The club will not hesitate to eject belligerent fans from the stands and hand out bans for abhorrent behavior. They have resources to point out fake scouts in the stands, too. 

The Chelsea FC Foundation (CFCF), the club’s charity, is taking further action to promote education, social inclusion, and physical well-being among its fans. The foundation works with Premier League Primary Stars to encourage physical education, English, math, and personal health. There also are club-run STEM courses, Digital Blue, for kids seeking employment in engineering, coding, robotics, and digital design. 

Employment training programs are available to help young people advance their career paths. The club hopes to use its platform to enhance the professional skills of teenagers ages 14–19 through Chelsea Works. The club holds workshops for careers in soccer media and club operations. 

The Edge of the Box Club program, launched in 2015, helps startups by providing networking opportunities through digital or in-person events. Chelsea says it has helped over 7,000 startups in nine years of operation.

Photo Courtesy Wikimedia

To keep West London’s population fit and healthy, the club runs campaigns for physical activity and healthcare for those facing inequalities. A 12-week Healthy School program teaches about good habits and physical activities in one-hour workshops. 

Active Families is another four-day program held during the United Kingdom school holidays. It teaches wellness through games, healthier cooking, and mental health support. The CFCF Population Health Department collaborates with the National Health Service and other London nonprofits on these initiatives.

Soccer schools are open for young footballers in the U.K. during school holidays, offering a place for kids to kick around in a safe environment.

Players of all abilities are invited to these sessions to learn new skills and make friends. There are advanced schools for more skilled players, which opens the door for player pathways into the Chelsea academy.

To keep youth feeling safe in West London, the foundation has spread a wide net while working with the Premier League Charitable Fund, Wandsworth Borough Council, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council, Everyone Active, Enable Sports Development, Youth Action Alliance, and the Metropolitan Police. It is an all-inclusive environment. People with intellectual and physical limitations are encouraged to join the Surrey, Kingston, and London sessions. There is potential to make it on the club’s various special-needs teams. 

The Premier League Kicks program provides a safe football environment while teaching young people the importance of being good citizens. According to the Premier League website, the program helped more than 520,000 kids across the U.K.

Photo Courtesy Wikimedia

Some London youths are at a higher risk of street violence. Chelsea has carried out targeted interventions to keep at-risk kids off the streets and focused on football activities. Some have come through the penal system and are looking to rehabilitate themselves in a structured environment.

Street Soccer is a 12-week program that takes in at-risk youth and promotes positive change through employment workshops and individual development. 

The foundation has several anti-discrimination programs and partnerships as the club works to tackle hate in the stands. No To Hate promotes religious tolerance, racial diversity, LGBTQ inclusion, and initiatives for Black History Month, Say No to Racism (a Premier League-wide campaign), and International Women’s Day. 

Some 2023 highlights include Working with the Willow Foundation to meet with fans suffering from special conditions, a mentoring program for refugees in London, an antisemitism conference, and a girls’ football festival at Cobham, the Chelsea academy.  

Chelsea, like its London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal, uses its financial resources to not only put out an elite team on the pitch (don’t look at the 2023–24 standings, though) but also to help the fans during and after match days. 

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