A FOOTBALL team which includes people who have experienced homelessness is sporting a brand new kit thanks to sponsorship from Redrow.
The Whitechapel Centre is the leading homeless and housing charity for the Liverpool region. Angela Mckay manages the centre’s football club and believes that playing football has helped the organisation to break down barriers and engage with the players to tackle issues affecting their wellbeing.
Learning and enablement facilitator Angela said: “We are extremely grateful for the new kit provided by Redrow as it has brought our players together as a team. It’s a much needed boost that has generated team spirit and created a great feel good factor for our players. They often turn up with nothing suitable to wear; having kit provided means that they now have access to this very popular sport.”
The team train every Tuesday at Power League Liverpool, Kirkdale.
Since the kit has arrived Angela says there has been an increased interest in the centre’s football activity with a regular group of players turning up every week.
The seven-a-side team plays in the Spirit of Merseyside League, which is made up of 23 team split across three divisions from a wide range of organisations; some have experienced homelessness or mental health problems while others are seeking asylum or have refugee status.
The league hosts a monthly tournament where Angela says the “friendly” games are taken “very seriously”. Each tournament has a special theme that aims to highlight a variety of issues, with guest speakers for each event. The latest event raised awareness of male cancer prevention for World Health Day.
Redrow has sponsored the team as part of its commitment to support local communities through its involvement in the Liverpool Housing Partnership.
Faye Whiteoak, development director for Redrow in Liverpool, said: “The Whitechapel Centre do a brilliant job helping homeless people in the city. When we heard their football team was looking for a sponsor, we were only too happy to help. Sport, and football in particular, has a unique ability to bring people together as well as boasting confidence, health and wellbeing. We hope the team has lots of success playing in the new kits.”
The Liverpool Housing Partnership is a collaboration between Redrow, Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Mutual Homes, which sees profits from council land sold to Redrow directly invested in new affordable housing elsewhere in the city. For more information visit http://liverpoolhousingpartnership.co.uk/