The Chelsea Foundation’s latest Community Day took place last week 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 Frank Lampard and his coaching staff put the players through their paces on Thursday morning.
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 was 11-year-old Oakley who was invited to Cobham through the club’s partnership with MSC Cruises and despite a 7.30am start to arrive in time for training, the youngster had a day to remember at Cobham.
He said: ‘Today I have been watching the warm up, then I got some signatures on my shirt which has been my favourite part of the day.
‘I’m a big fan of football up and down the country and so I was happy I got to meet Frank Lampard today - which I didn’t expect!’
MSC cruises work in collaboration with the club to reach out to Starlight Children’s Foundation and give children living with serious illness the opportunity to create special memories that they will never forget.
Marketing director for MSC Cruises, Alessandra Pierleoni, said: ‘We are partners with Chelsea and this is the second year that we are working with them.
‘One of the activations that we are doing with them was taking advantage of the open training to work in collaboration with Chelsea and Starlight to offer children their dreams to come true.
‘It is a great memory that they will have forever. They will go away and talk with their friends and their families so for us it is an amazing opportunity and we hope we will have more opportunities to work with Chelsea and Starlight together.’
Michelle Jardine, head of corporate and trusts said: ‘We are delighted that MSC Cruises have given us the opportunity to invite seriously ill children and their families to their training day.
‘Often times families are going through lengthy treatment programmes, so having fun together as a family can often drop down the list of priorities when parents are trying to cope with the reality and routine of serious illness. That is why it is so important that we have been able to create this special time for them to spend together as a family and do something that’s truly memorable and enjoyable.
‘When a child is seriously ill or has a life limiting condition it doesn’t just affect the child, it affects the family, so for everyone to come together and do something really special makes a big difference to them and their day.
‘It’s just absolutely fantastic and amazing that the footballers that have busy schedules and a hard training session to take the time out to take photographs with the children, give them autographs and make them feel really special in that moment so it’s absolutely amazing that has been able to happen.’
Among our other guests were Jonjo Tyler, Louis Brooks, Jo Jo Davis, Michelle Whiteman, Rayan, Luke and Gabriel.
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.