Hannah Voice, resident at the YMCA DLG Horsham Y Centre, has been selected to represent England as part of the Homeless World Cup squad in this year’s tournament. Hannah was selected after successfully completing the Homeless FA Training programme at the Brighton & Hove Albion stadium, along with fellow YMCA DLG residents Omar Skogstrom-King (Horsham Y Centre) Joe Baldwin (Crawley Foyer) and Reece Richardson (Crawley Foyer).
The 6-day FA training programme took place over six weeks during April and May. It’s run in partnership with professional football clubs across England. These training programmes are a great experience for all players, regardless of footballing ability, with every participant achieving an accredited leadership qualification.
Last year saw YMCA DLG resident Jahobi Maher from Crawley Foyer being selected to play for the England squad in the Homeless World Cup, Santiago, Chile. This year Jahobi was back, only this time in the role of a mentor to the training programme’s new recruits.
Gareth Parker, Head of the Homeless FA said, “We had our most successful year with Team England in 2014, but that is nothing compared to what the hundreds of men women at our Training Centres achieved during their time with us. What we do works as nearly two thirds of our players improved their housing situation. Almost half of them went on to further education and two thirds gained employment. Perhaps most importantly, every single player reported an increase in confidence and self-esteem.”
Lee Scott, YMCA DLG Engagement & Learning Coordinator, Crawley said, “Scoring goals and Football skills are obviously important, but what really impresses me is the Homeless FA’s focus on developing positive attitude, teamwork, commitment, interpersonal and organisational skills, along with improving physical health.”
Kevin Budge, Engagement and Learning Coordinator, Horsham said, “The Homeless FA sessions have given the residents a focus. It has taught them the importance of working together and given them an insight into peers issues whilst also enabling them to further their skills in an area they are interested in. The feedback from residents has been extremely positive.”