Chelsea's building bridges initiative was launched in 2010 to promote equality in our club, our stadium and throughout our communities.
In 2009, Chelsea were awarded the Intermediate Level of the Racial Equality Standard (RES) for our work tackling discrimination within the game and fighting racism and all forms of prejudice.
Chelsea has a close working relationship with a number of equality organisations including Kick It Out, Show Racism the Red Card and the Black and Asian Coaches Association.
The club has undertaken numerous projects engaging fans and our communities in aspects of our equality work. Thousands of young people in south-west London participate in the club's anti-discrimination education campaign every year. The programme is supported by Chelsea's first black player, Paul Canoville.
Canoville played a significant part in the club's history and has become a regular visitor to schools across London for our education department, telling the story of how he combated the racism he encountered as a player.
Every year, pupils engaged in the programme undertake their own anti-discrimination competitions with the winners being offered the chance to have their picture taken on the pitch on Stamford Bridge.
To specifically tackle anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish abuse, clubs, football authorities and Kick It Out joined together to produce The Y-Word. This short film, which stars Frank Lampard, was made to raise awareness that 'yid' is a race-hate word.
It is not an excuse to chant anti-Semitic abuse because opposition supporters use particular words as a form of identity. At Chelsea we have, and always will, take the strongest possible action against anyone found making any kind of discriminatory chant or taunt. Anyone caught making anti-Semitic chants will face action from the club and, if there is sufficient evidence, will be criminally prosecuted.
Chelsea's ground-breaking Asian Star initiative has also seen over 1300 young Asian players take up the challenge to be named Asian Star since the programme's introduction in 2009. The initiative aims to overcome low participation levels from British Asians in the beautiful game. In just four years five former winners have gone on to play for professional club academies.
The Chelsea FC Foundation's Community FC side also offers opportunities for aspiring footballers with a variety of disabilities. Whether players are visually impaired, have cerebral palsy or learning difficulties, we provide coaching for all keen footballers.
Our disability department leads the way for disability and pan-disability football coaching and was rewarded for their efforts when members of the Community FC team and their coach were given the honour of carrying the Paralympic Torch through central London by Lord Sebastian Coe.
SUPPORTING DISABLED FANS
We are very proud of our work with our disabled fans' forum in creating an industry-leading, disabled-ticketing policy offering free places for disabled fans and their carers.
Chelsea has a well-established disabled supporters' group and despite the limitations of an old ground, the club has welcomed disabled fans to Stamford Bridge and worked closely with disabled groups to ensure facilities are as good as they can be. The Chelsea Disabled Supporters' Association (CDSA) has been at the forefront of establishing our disability policies and representing disabled fans' views.
The club offer three types of ticketing schemes for our disabled supporters. The rota scheme and disabled season tickets are free of charge for the disabled and their personal assistant. Tickets are issued to disabled members within the rota scheme 42 days prior to the match and sent direct to the disabled member free of charge.
Chelsea also operates a disabled match membership scheme that gives disabled members the chance to purchase tickets and offer a disabled membership free of charge or paying membership depending on requirements to disabled supporters on proof of disability.
We offer ear pieces for our visually impaired supporters and have a disability drop-off and pick-up point, situated by the main entrance at Stamford Gate. All disabled toilets are fitted with radar keys on the recommendation of our disabled fans' forum.
PROUD OF OUR DIVERSITY
The club actively celebrates its diversity. Our equality work is fully backed by our players and staff and the players have even made a video supporting our work tackling discrimination.
Any fans entering Stamford Bridge, visiting our website or reading our publications will be instantly aware that we are a club proud of our multi-ethnic and religious makeup.
Supporters can also play an important part in the fight against discrimination on a matchday. Each matchday programme details specific numbers and confidential text services for fans to report discriminatory chanting or behaviour.
If you witness such behaviour during a game, please send a text message to 07894 93 77 93 with the stand, row, seat number and description of the offender and incident. Alternatively, you can phone 0207 915 1919 and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence.