Foundation helps local girls learn lifetime lessons

Stamford Bridge hosted the first ever Chelsea Foundation ‘Young Peoples Edge of the Box Club’ recently with more than a hundred students from Fulham Girls School attending the event.

The programme mirrors the adult version ‘The Edge of the Box Club’ which is also supported and organised by the Chelsea Foundation and is an extension of the Foundation’s entrepreneur programme, and involves groups of job seekers experiencing two weeks learning new skills and tools to turn their idea into a business plan.

Guest speaker Winsome Duncan, who has previously attended The Edge of the Box Club, kicked-off proceedings to help set the scene and start the journey of motivation and inspiration for the young girls, in a week when International Day of the Girl was celebrated.

The pupils then heard from four other guest speakers Kirsty Armstrong, Fiona Davis, Natalie Lloyd and Alicia Lai before being asked to take all that they had learnt throughout the session and come up with a two-minute pitch for a challenge that had been set.

The task given to them was to sell the new Chelsea FC Ladies home shirt after being given a market stall at Stamford Bridge for the next Chelsea FC home game. The different groups then presented their ideas to the panel of judges with the winners awarded with free tickets to a Chelsea Ladies game at Kingsmeadow.

Winsome, who is an award-winning social entrepreneur and spoke at the event, said: ‘In the past when I’ve come to speak at the adults Edge of the Box, I’ve thought it was a great opportunity and so for Chelsea Foundation to transfer that onto the young people and young girls is amazing.

‘As Whitney Houston once said “I believe the children are our future” and she was right, they are. If you can just plant a seed in the mind, let that flourish and get nurtured and that’s what we are doing here. It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to come to this event and start their entrepreneurial pursuits.

‘A lot of the time charities tend to talk about how they can fix a problem, but what Chelsea Foundation does is they go to the roots.

‘The businesses that I’ve seen set up through the years that I’ve been coming here have been amazing. The confidence that I’ve seen in these entrepreneurs that have been employed has really been turned around and that’s a story that is going to last for a lifetime.

‘Chelsea Foundation have changed the trajectory of someone’s career, you’ve helped them to be self-sufficient and make their own money and I tell you what, that is such a rewarding thing.’