CHELSEA FC FOUNDATION UP FOR POSITIVE FUTURES AWARD

The Chelsea FC Foundation has been shortlisted for the Exceptional Programme of Work Award within the Positive Futures programme in Wandsworth.

The nomination came after the Chelsea FC Foundation organised and set up a female and male football education programme in partnership with Southfields Community College, offering young people from social inclusion programmes the opportunity to continue and develop their education.

Focusing on engagement through football, young people would enrol on to the college through their chosen subject's while training and participating in regular fixtures.

An issue Positive Futures has had in the past is a drop off in engagement from the age of 16 plus. While some participants progress into further education, the programme didn't have any direct say so in helping achieve this. There was also the problem of participants becoming NEET when they left school. With this in mind, and with football being the key to engagement, an education programme was set up.

The programme sees young people take part in football training at least twice a week. Players are only selected to participate if they show good attendance at school and training, a good level of commitment and attitude towards their academic responsibilities and if their college work is up to date.

The scheme has four main aims - to persuade students to continue into further education, to develop and maximise football playing ability, to refer players onto outside accreditations (Level One coaching etc.) and to offer volunteering opportunities.

Jordan Madimbi has been part of the initiative for four years and has attended educational workshops, match day visits, represented his area in tournaments and was consistently attending weekly sessions.

'I've attended football tournaments, youth clubs and Chelsea games as well as workshops,' said Jordan. 'Positive Futures benefits the local community, it gets the youths off the streets, playing football and keeps you motivated to learn.'

The awards will take place on Thursday 7 June at Battersea Arts Centre.