Pupils from Fulham Cross Girls Academy joined clubs from across the Premier League to deliver their vision for a more sustainable school and more environmentally friendly communities.
The event formed part of the Premier League Inspires programme, which aims to inspire and engage young people to help them reach their potential.
The pupils were pitted against eight other schools from the Chelsea Foundation Education programme and presented their ideas for an environmental programme to an esteemed judging panel at Stamford Bridge, It included representatives from the Premier League, Chelsea Foundation and young people’s charity Future Foundations.
The school’s vision of creating an eco-garden in a disused area of the school meant that they were selected to represent the Foundation at the national Premier League Inspires Challenge Event, competing against the 46 other clubs within the Premier League Inspires network.
The garden is now used as a breakout space by the school, focused on students’ health and wellbeing and features a seating space, a fruit and vegetable patch, a wildlife hotel area and water butt for recycling.
One of the Fulham Cross pupils summed up their experience:
‘The project has been an incredible experience and everyone in our group has benefited from it. We learned about what the football community is doing for the planet, how to create an effective presentation, how to work well in a team and how to clearly speak in public. We are very grateful that we were given this opportunity and we will carry the skills and knowledge that we have gained throughout this journey for the rest of our lives.’
Sam Mardle, the Chelsea Foundation education manager, added:
‘It is great to see how much effort and time the girls have dedicated to this project. Our Premier League Inspires programme is all about providing opportunities to school students that they may not have access to through traditional classroom education. The fact the space has become a key part of school life is just rewards for the girls' contributions. We look forward to seeing what can be achieved as we further develop the programme.’