Chelsea Foundation have been finding inventive ways to stay engaged and connected with young participants on our Kicks programme during lockdown.

The Kicks programme, which was launched and funded by the Premier League, was established in 2007 and offers activities to inspire young people to achieve their potential and wellbeing while working together to build safer and more inclusive communities.

Prior to the pandemic, Foundation staff were delivering free sports sessions to eight to 18-year-olds as part of the Kicks programme in Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Wandsworth.

Due to the country being in lockdown, the sessions have been cancelled but our Social Inclusion team have introduced a host of virtual activities to keep young participants active and engaged.

More than 100 young people have taken part in a ‘Get Active Challenge’ with prizes offered for those who cover the most kilometres in a month.

The Foundation’s team usually also provide physical sessions at Chelsea Academy School, but to ensure we are still engaging with students, we have been working alongside a Performance and Creative Arts group to deliver virtual cheerleading sessions.

We have also been working closely with Earls Court Youth Club and Roehampton Base Youth Club to provide indoor sessions to vulnerable young people, while also supporting participants, who may not have facilities at home, to complete online schoolwork.

Senior social inclusion officer Callum Salhotra said: ‘Lockdown has been really challenging for many of our young people who have had to adapt to not going to school and not being able to socialise with their friends during this period.

‘The Chelsea Foundation Social Inclusion Team has tried to adapt much of our provision to keep young people engaged during this time.

‘The Chelsea ‘Get Active’ Challenge has really helped feed that competitiveness that they would usually get through coming to our Kicks programme.’

Tyra Mills, female engagement coordinator, added: ‘Working throughout lockdown, not once but twice has been extremely difficult and heavy for most of our young people.

‘It’s been a challenge engaging young people through our online quizzes and challenges, but they have adapted well.

‘We, as the inclusion team, have thought of many ways to engage and keep everyone active especially with our online quizzes.

‘The female quizzes have had a massive effect on our participants, as they look forward to it every week.’

For more information on our social inclusion programmes and how to get involved, click here