The Chelsea Foundation’s latest Community Day took place on Tuesday afternoon as a host of young Blues supporters watched training before meeting their heroes.
The fans and their family members were invited by the Chelsea Foundation to watch Maurizio Sarri and his coaching staff put the players through their paces in the build-up to our Europa League game with Dynamo Kiev.
After training, the players spent time chatting to the Foundation guests, as well as posing for photographs with the visitors and signing autographs to give them some great mementoes from the day.
Among those in attendance were six-year-old Joshua Newman, seven-year-old Ronnie Bridgman, Joshua Gershon, nine, and Max Harrison, 12. All four youngsters were joined by members of their family.
Joshua was also joined by Rachel Cresswell, marketing and communications manager for Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity, who the Foundation have linked up with this season to support the many youngsters who regularly spend time in their hospitals.
Rachel spoke about the importance of bringing patients to the Community Day. She said: ‘We are a specialist heart and lung hospital so many of our young patients have lifelong and life-limiting conditions which means they can’t go about their life like other children.
‘We have been working closely with the Foundation this season to give some of these patients not only this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but also a day that can really help when they are going through really difficult treatment or a difficult time in their lives.
‘It puts such a smile on their face and so many of the kids say it is the best day of their life!
‘I’m here today with Alan and son Joshua, who was born with a congenital heart defect, and was born extremely premature and at the time he was the smallest baby in the country with that condition. He has been in hospital a lot and still goes in regularly and now suffers with a chronic lung condition.
‘He’s incredibly excited and been clapping and cheering all the players,’ Rachel finished. His favourites are David Luiz and Willian and to meet them is incredible for him.’
The regular Community Days see the Chelsea Foundation linking up with a range of charities to arrange visits for seriously or terminally ill supporters and their carers, giving them a well-deserved boost in what is obviously a difficult time for them and their families.