CHELSEA FOUNDATION BRINGING FESTIVE JOY TO SOLDIERS` FAMILIES

The Chelsea Foundation hosted children of service men and women at the club's Cobham training ground to bring them a bit of festive cheer while their parents serve overseas this week.

Chelsea Foundation coaches held a one-day Soccer School in conjunction with My Daddy Is A Soldier Adventures, a charity set-up to help service children fill the void left by parents on operational tours.

Girls and boys between five and 12 years old took part in the event, which saw children separated into four age groups. Chelsea Foundation coaches then maintained a jovial atmosphere as the children took part in sessions created to improve their shooting, passing, dribbling and team work.

Players from Chelsea's Under 18s also headed over to offer their footballing expertise as they joined the groups and took part in the sessions, much to the children's delight.

Following a morning of football, participants sat down to free packed lunches, also provided by the Chelsea Foundation before taking part in small-sided games in the afternoon. Soccer Schools are dedicated to promoting the Chelsea Foundation's values of fair play, respect and discipline as well as encouraging team play and developing social skills

There was a surprise in store for the participants at the end of the day as well when X Factor finalist JonJo Kerr made an appearance. The soldier, who was part of the 2012 X Factor's final 16, met the children and handed out certificates of attendance.

'I have children myself and know how difficult it can be for them when you're away on duty,' said Kerr.

'It's fantastic that the Chelsea Foundation and My Daddy Is A Soldier Adventures have held this event to help these children enjoy the festive season without their mothers or fathers. It will make a big difference, not only to the children, but to the parents who are away. They'll be hugely grateful their children could take part in this event.'

Louise Fetigan, co-founder of My Daddy Is A Soldier Adventures, added: 'The children have absolutely loved taking part and learning different football skills. The Chelsea Foundation coaches were brilliant and made every child feel special and it was fantastic that the Academy players came over as well. This day will have a huge impact on these children's Christmas and will help them deal with the absence of their mother or father. We'd like to thank the Chelsea Foundation for organising such a fantastic event.'