Chelsea FC Foundation’s education department started delivering the Standing Together programme late last year.

Across the project, the Foundation delivered a raft of events including eight secondary school assemblies, two immersion events at Stamford Bridge, 16 in-school campaign sessions, two judging panel events and eight community sessions.

Through the project, the Foundation engaged with 220 participants across two cycles of delivery as we worked with eight schools and four community groups across five London boroughs.

Participants have been learning how to keep themselves safe from potential radicalisation and extremism through the project, which is funded by the Mayor of London’s Shared Endeavour Fund.

Pupils took part in a range of activities, including the aforementioned school assemblies, stadium immersion days at Stamford Bridge, in-school campaign sessions, and finally pitched their social action project ideas at two final events to a panel of judges .

Young people on the programme also received bespoke workshops from dedicated experts within the field. Hope Not Hate uses research, takes action, and supports community engagement to challenge mistrust and racism, whilst opposing far-right extremism.

The ability to provide new opportunities to young people is key to contributing toward safer communities. More importantly, we provided a platform for young people to embed new values, empowered them to set new goals and inspired them to challenge their well-being. All the young people involved gained new personal skills that will be transferable into their community and school journeys.

Shannon McCarthy, youth programme co-ordinator at the Renaissance Foundation, said: ‘This was a new opportunity for our participants, they already face a lot of pressure as young carers and do no always get the support they deserve.

‘The ability to travel to Stamford Bridge and receive a workshop has been inspiring and educational for all of those involved.’

One participant from Dunraven School added: ‘I would be the type of person to turn away if I heard any bad comments, but now I know how to safely challenge discrimination as I have had tips and help from the coaches.’

For more information or if you would like to participate in any of our ED&I programmes, please contact [email protected]