The Chelsea Football Club Foundation was formed in 2010 as one of the world’s leading Football Social Responsibility programmes. The Chelsea Foundation uses the power of football and sport to motivate, educate and inspire. The training facilities are the largest in the UK and are used by their community programmes.
I visited the Chelsea Football Club Foundation at Chelsea Football Club’s Training Ground in Cobham, Surrey on 3rd August 2022 to hear about their “Bridging the Blues” Programme, which improves the health of patients who had a transient ischaemic attack (TIA).
Supporting community health and mental wellbeing
Several different charitable activities are run by the foundation to sup
port the local community, including the Chelsea Foundation’s Disability Inclusion programme which enables young people and adults with any disability to participate in regular, organised football matches and coaching sessions in a safe and enjoyable environment.
Bridging the Blues Programme
The Chelsea Football Club Foundation’s health and wellbeing programme, Bridging the Blues Programme, aims to develop and enhance the experiences of a variety of different communities, engaging all ages in health and wellbeing in a bid to make positive change. To close the gap through inter-generational schemes, there’s a special focus on key areas like reducing social isolation, tackling loneliness, improving health and wellbeing, and closing the gap through inter-generational schemes.
Partnering up to make positive change
To take this further, Chelsea Football Club Foundation will need funding for a partnership project with the Imperial College Healthcare NHS and the Stroke Association. Together, they plan to run a 12-week healthy lifestyle course helping people between the ages of 40 to 60 who have suffered a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or a minor stroke. Lots of them will not have been properly monitored during the pandemic, so encouraging a healthy lifestyle would stop a significant number from experiencing a stroke (nearly half of all patients who have a TIA go on to have major strokes, and a third of TIA patients also go on to develop dementia).
After visiting, I believe the involvement of Chelsea will ensure the programme’s success. For that reason, the Hospital Saturday Fund awarded them a grant of £7,700 and will be looking out for the impact this assessment will make in 2023 for TIA patients.