Salvation Army lifehouses kick-start campaign for homestay programme

published on 4 Apr 2014

Team from William Hunter House in Glasgow 

Budding footballers at homeless centres across Scotland have come together to promote a scheme aimed at helping athletes' families and volunteers find a place to stay during the Commonwealth Games.

Around 100 homeless men and women took part in a football tournament in Glasgow on Friday to kick-start a fundraising campaign for the Athlete Family Homestay programme.

The Salvation Army event at Goals Soccer Centre in Shawlands was organised in partnership with Street Soccer Scotland, a non-profit social enterprise that delivers a range of football related services to socially disadvantaged adults and young people.

And following a fiercely contested day of football, a team from William Hunter House in Glasgow were crowned champions after winning all their games en route to glory.     

Tournament organiser Alan McGrotty, service manager at The Salvation Army’s Skinnergate Lifehouse in Perth, said: “This fundraising drive is a real selfless act by our homeless guys. Many of them have and still are facing adversity but are determined to help others who may be struggling to find accommodation in the city this summer.

"It's great our guys are able to support the homestay programme while gaining a great sense of achievement, purpose and self-confidence. They also get to work as a team, which creates a lasting sense of community.

“As a church and a charity we care about the whole person, and we believe that this sort of event can really help to build confidence and important life skills. But let’s not forget it’s a really enjoyable day and a highlight for many.

“All of our lifehouses offer a range of support to help break the cycle of homelessness. We do this by offering a compassionate, listening ear, education, training, volunteering, employment skills and much more.”

Former Rangers footballer Ally Dawson, now a development manager at Street Soccer Scotland, said: "We were delighted to team up with The Salvation Army for this exciting tournament.

"The charity does great work through its homelessness services so it’s nice to see the service users doing their bit for others.”

The Salvation Army is taking part of the More than Gold mission programme, which will see the church and charity work with other Christian denominations on a range of exciting activities related to this summer’s Commonwealth Games.