To garner attention for the project and make it appealing to young participants, it became essential to collaborate with experts in the realms of football and mental health. The natural choice was Paul Canoville, who readily agreed to play a pivotal role alongside members of his foundation. Gary Stannett, the dynamic CEO of the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, also joined as a driving force. Michael Wallace from Kickoff@3 brought his expertise in planning football tournaments, while Hackney Council generously contributed their time to coordinate the football-related aspects and provided access to the iconic Hackney Marshes as a central venue for the symposium.
Yolanda Lear, a 26-year-old author and youth leader advocating for change within the Black and Asian community, stepped up to conduct a workshop on the crucial subject of mental health, where access to the right support is often lacking. Each of these contributors brought extensive experience and knowledge in working with and for disadvantaged youth across the UK.
Additionally, Jean-Francois Andrade and Egon Vorfeld from the Forum Finance Group in Switzerland were persuaded to fly to the UK expressly to deliver a workshop on Financial Literacy in collaboration with Paul Canoville. This session aimed to educate all participants about making informed financial decisions.
The UK and Swiss ambassadors jointly crafted the week’s itinerary in collaboration with the aforementioned key figures. They recognized that, besides the prospect of interacting with admired football celebrities, forming connections with fellow participants was equally crucial. This was achieved through a blend of team-building exercises, workshops, and football activities