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As it was essential for both Paula and Sarah that young people should drive this project, they reached out to a group of young football enthusiasts to see if they would take the lead and develop this into something appealing for their age group. Students from London, instigated collaboration with students from Geneva and between them they drove the idea forward with Paula and Sarah acting as their coaches. It was important for them all to operate on a ‘level playing field’ with them all working together to achieve a common goal – and that which they decided upon, was the organisation and construction of a week of mental health workshops, service experiences and football related activities in the UK for up to 40 youths of the same age as themselves.




To enhance project appeal, collaboration with football and mental health experts was crucial. Paul Canoville, Gary Stannett (CEO of Rio Ferdinand Foundation), and Michael Wallace (Kickoff@3) offered expertise. Hackney Council facilitated venue use at Hackney Marshes. Yolanda Lear, a youth leader, addressed mental health. Jean-Francois Andrade and Egon Vorfeld (Forum Finance Group) delivered financial literacy workshops. Together, they curated a program blending workshops, team-building, and football activities, fostering alliances among participants.



In the second phase of the project, Easyjet provided discounted tickets for 14 participants and 6 chaperones from London to Geneva. These young people, from Wickers Charity and B-Six College in Hackney, demonstrated exceptional progress during their week in London with Swiss participants. Discounted accommodation at Marriott Hotel ensured they were well-rested and nourished. Ecolint provided training facilities and referees, while Swiss parents catered weekend lunches for around 50 guests daily. Dr. Mecky McNeil conducted a Mental Health First Aid course, and Charles-Henri de Marignac delivered a Financial Literacy workshop. Marta Alcocer led a workshop on Social Media branding. Keith arranged a private UEFA tour and donated tickets for UEFA Youth League Semi/Finals. Hublot provided an exclusive factory tour, and Trae Coyle and Archie Brown facilitated the prize-giving ceremony. Chaperones from Wickers Charity, B-Six college, and Kickoff@3 ensured the participants' well-being. Special thanks to Paul McKenzie, Geraldo Pestalozzi, Victor, and Andi for their contributions to documenting the project.

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