Chelsea Football Club may no longer carry the pre-war nickname of 'The Pensioners' but senior supporters at Stamford Bridge are in the news with an award for our Education Department.
Chelsea FC's 'Alive and Kicking' senior fans' group are national winners in the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) Group Awards.
The project works with supporters who are in their 70s and 80s and is delivered in partnership with the local Open Age charity.
It is unique in using the inspiration of football as a tool to motivate senior learners to have a go at learning new skills. Currently the project runs weekly information technology (IT) sessions using the state-of-the-art facilities at the Chelsea Hub at Stamford Bridge.
The learners have developed computing skills and learnt how to use email and the internet. The group also benefits local school children who are able to learn about local history and citizenship through the first-hand stories of these life-long fans.
The education department also hosts larger special events and learning opportunities for senior fans throughout the year.
Widower Joe Street, 81, who took part in the scheme, says, 'Before too long, those of us who had long thought that they would never want to own a computer went out and bought one.'
While many men become isolated as they grow older, those at Alive and Kicking have formed strong friendships. They also use the internet to stay in contact with friends and family overseas. And Joe has used his new computer skills to write his life story - 100 pages long and counting!
For further information or if you have a friend or relative aged 70+ who would like to be kept informed about our events and activities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org