One hundred and thirty local school children celebrated World Book Day by creating their own unique story characters and enjoyed an exciting tour of Stamford Bridge.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of World Book Day, an annual event which encourages children to dress up as their favourite book character and celebrate the joy of reading. To mark the celebration Chelsea Foundation and the inclusive book company, Little Box of Books joined forces to launch a new school programme, using representative books to teach children about equality, diversity and inclusion.

During the first session at Stamford Bridge, 130 children from four London Primary Schools took part in a ‘draw along’ workshop with illustrator and character designer, Selom Sunu. They each designed their own character to create a ‘community of characters’, illustrating that each and every one of us is unique. Other workshops and stories on the day highlighted that everyone deserves to see themselves in the books they read.

At the event, children also enjoyed messages of support from Chelsea Women’s striker and author Sam Kerr who recently published her own book series, ‘The Flip Out’. The books tell her journey into football through a wide array of interesting and diverse characters.

Lynsey Pollard, founder and director of Little Box of Books, said: ‘World Book Day is a wonderful celebration of reading and a great opportunity to get more inclusive books into schools, so everyone can see themselves in the books they read.

‘Our new initiative with Chelsea Foundation will allow more children to access books that reflect the society we live in, in all its multicultural and diverse brilliance. The new programme will help children to celebrate diversity and recognise that everyone deserves to see themselves in a leading role.’

Head of education at Chelsea FC Foundation Sam Gaskin-Kemp also commented on the event: ‘We are delighted to be launching this very exciting opportunity for primary school pupils to engage in, as it feeds in very naturally to our wider, continuous drive to promote diversity and equality.

‘Providing inclusive resources and activities which enable young readers to recognise relatable characters in stories who look, dress and sound like them is very inspiring for readers and powerful for everyone involved. We look forward to seeing the characters that the children create and the stories they write as part of the project.’