Academy trio James Clark, Dynel Simeu and Marcel Lewis visited Fulham College Boys School to take part in a Chelsea Foundation Chelsea Champions event as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

The Blues youngsters joined year 10 pupils to take part in a classroom-based workshop where the main focus was mental health and ways in which they can prevent the build-up of stress prior to school exams, before enjoying some fun teamwork activities outside on the playground.

The event was part of the Foundation’s Chelsea Champions programme which places full-time Foundation staff within secondary schools to enhance and develop emotional wellbeing, resilience and coping mechanisms of students through a number of universal, targeted and individual measures.

Clark said: ‘We’ve come down today because they’ve got their mock exams coming up and so we’ve come to help them out with some revision techniques and make sure they know it’s important to be prepared.

‘I think at the time it may seem that these exams are the biggest thing in the world but if they step back and a have look at the bigger picture, they realise that they will get through it.

‘No matter what happens, if you don’t do too well, there is still time to prepare for the real GCSEs.’

The initiative sees members of our Academy, like Clark, paying regular visits to the schools to engage with the young people about a variety of issues, including the effects social media can have on social isolation and mental health. The 17-year-old spoke about the impact the Chelsea Champions programme has had on him as a person.

‘I’ve really enjoyed it. When you come in, they all pay so much attention,’ Clark said.

‘Being at Chelsea, they will listen to you and maybe some will want to be in our shoes and so it’s nice that they pay attention.

‘I was quite quiet when I first came to Chelsea but coming to these events and talking to the pupils has helped me with my leadership and communication skills.’

Joanne Tighe, lead of the Chelsea Champions programme added: ‘The scholars programme has been an incredibly rewarding experience for all schools, staff and students involved in its first year pilot.

‘The scholars have excelled in their planning, delivery and engagement throughout all four school visits and students have gained so much from their interactions and engagements in the various workshops delivered.

‘I am very much looking forward to working with the next up-and-coming scholars in 2019/20 and have every confidence the programme will continue to thrive in the future.’

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