Our new campaign with Plan International to transform the lives of 10,000 children around the world is officially up and running. Football for Change was launched before Saturday’s match against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.

With the club donating £1 from each match ticket sold to provide footballs and kit to help children play, learn and thrive, fans were invited to show support with donations of their own as they were greeted by Plan International volunteers at the Bridge.

Club mascots Stamford and Bridget proudly sported charity badges while the players warmed up in special Plan International kit and a Football for Change banner was unveiled in the centre circle prior to kick off.

As kick-off approached, stadium announcer Lee Parker spoke to former Chelsea player and Plan International ambassador Claire Rafferty about our partnership before introducing the Football for Change video, featuring Frank Lampard. A 10-second countdown followed – accompanied by pyrotechnics – to encourage fans to text ‘Chelsea’ to 70800 to donate £5 before the players returned to the pitch.

While some fans were tucking into Plan International pies at half time – with Levy donating 50p per pie to the charity – four lucky Junior Blues took part in a penalty shoot-out, having won a competition to write letters to children sponsored by Chelsea FC around the world through Plan International’s child sponsorship programme.

Rose Caldwell, chief executive at Plan International UK, was at the match to see the launch first hand and said: ‘We’ve received overwhelming support for Football for Change from everyone involved with Chelsea and Saturday’s launch at Stamford Bridge was spectacular to see.

‘Donating footballs and kit will make a big difference to children and communities across the world, so I want to thank everyone at Chelsea – staff, players and fans – for getting Football for Change off to such a fantastic start!’

You can still support Football for Change and help make change for children: text ‘Chelsea’ to 70800 to donate £5 or make an online donation at plan-uk.org/footballforchange

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