Chelsea Foundation has been working alongside the Met Taskforce to help to bridge the gap between young people and the Police.
The Met Taskforce, which is a command of specialist officers set up to assist frontline policing across London, supported the Foundation with its Premier League Kicks delivery and attended weekly sessions at Rosslyn Park in Wandsworth.
With the aim of changing the negative perception young people might have towards the Police, sessions involved practical first aid training, police style circuit training, Q&A sessions with the officers and discussions on the effects of gang violence on families.
Callum Salhotra, Chelsea Foundation senior inclusion officer, said: “Prior to the Met Taskforce supporting the Kicks programme, the young people’s perception of the police was quite negative.
“However due to working with the police in their sessions, this view has changed, and the police have been able to come in and build rapport with the young people. This has enabled relationships to be built and young people to see beyond the uniform.”
Shauna Lawless, of the Metropolitan Police Service, commented: “This partnership working with Chelsea Foundation has been an amazing opportunity for both the young people and the police.
“Whilst delivering our workshops on stop and search, first aid and mental health, we have seen the young people grow in the short space of five weeks. They have all been engaging and asking lots of questions in relation to the topics.
“These sessions allowed us to break down barriers with young people in the community and to gain their trust. It provided value to us to see what the young people in the community think of the police and their feedback on the project. They are all bright and talented footballers and we hope we can visit this group again for a friendly XI-a-side!”