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Chelsea FC beefs up Covid community help for older residents

Categoriesnews Sportnews, Communitynews

Image captionImage 1: Chelsea captain César Azpilicueta taking part in a Chelsea FC Foundation Zoom meeting with local schools

Chelsea Football Club is redoubling its efforts to support the community in Hammersmith & Fulham during the pandemic with programmes to help young and old, and free hotel rooms for NHS staff.

Through its charitable wing, the Chelsea Foundation, the club is putting £10,000 into an appeal to help those most in need – and will match-fund the next £10,000 raised by fans.

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Image caption: Image 2: CFC supporters preparing food parcels

The target is to focus support on isolated older residents in west London and, in the wake of school closures in the latest lockdown, help pupils’ education.

Simon Taylor, head of Chelsea Foundation, said: “Over the past year we’ve adapted to overcome challenges during the pandemic. It’s been great to see the foundation, club and fans come together to support our communities.”

Support from the Blues

In earlier lockdowns, unusued hotel rooms at the Stamford Bridge stadium were set aside for the free use of hospital workers. That is being revived in the current lockdown, with the Copthorne Hotel in Fulham Road, on the stadium site, offering the NHS free bed and breakfast for staff in need.

Club supporters have also been providing food parcels for NHS staff and pensioner groups via the charities Refuge and NHS Charities Together.

Chelsea Foundation is organising new online activities, with Chelsea staff helping pensioners keep fit via free access to exercise equipment, and virtual exercise classes.

There are also reminiscence sessions to tackle social isolation and loneliness among elderly residents.

A ‘Check-in with Chelsea’ programme reminds children to check in, stay focused and keep active, while pupils are also being supported with English, maths and PE daily, if they register. Activity packs, workbooks and healthy lifestyle information is also being provided.

The Foundation has created Team Talk support networks for groups to keep in touch and is working with foodbanks to establish collections and deliveries to those most affected by food poverty.

To donate, visit the Chelsea FC Foundation JustGiving page.

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