A Salvation Army centre for homeless people in Bristol has carried home the cup after competing against dozens of teams from across the country.
Hundreds of people from The Salvation Army’s centres for homeless people had the opportunity to learn skills from the most capped male England player of all time on Thursday, October 10, as part of a five-a-side football tournament in Birmingham.
Peter Shilton OBE presented the trophies to the team from Logos House in Bristol, who won the final match against last year’s winners, Booth House in London 2-0. He also ran a penalty shootout master class for the competitors from the Army’s Lifehouses in the afternoon. Throughout the day he was on hand to offer guidance and support to the teams taking part and gave an overview of his career in the afternoon.
The former England player represented his country 125 times and during his playing career received an MBE and OBE for services to football. Following his retirement from international football he was awarded the prestigious Order of Merit by the Professional Footballers’ Association.
The Army’s Partnership Trophy is an annual event for The Salvation Army's centre for homeless men and women and other supported housing units run by The Salvation Army Housing Association (SAHA) at the Power League Stadium.
Last year a team from Booth House in Whitechapel, London won the trophy. The winners then took to the field in a charity football match against 11 MPs and parliamentary staff in June. The match aimed to raise awareness of the issues of homelessness and to celebrate the achievements of the winning team.
This year people from Lifehouses and SAHA services across the country competed in the tournament from as far afield as Scotland, Ireland and Southampton.
Daniel England, 37, took the team up to Birmingham, and organised weekly football matches for current and former residents of the Lifehouse in Bristol. Daniel was homeless and addicted to drugs for several years before he was taken in as a resident at Logos House himself. He’s now been clean for five years, and after leaving Logos House volunteered at the centre, setting up the weekly football matches. He later became the centre’s receptionist and now works for Logos House as an early intervention worker. He said: “The guys loved meeting Peter Shilton. Some of the guys said to me it was an amazing day which was great. It was a brilliant day. I just want the lads to become like me – to get back on their feet and realise they can live fulfilling lives.”
Scott Wilcox, 35, stayed at Logos House but has now been living in his own flat for three years. He was the goalie on this year’s winning team and now does voluntary work with the Addiction Recovery Agency. He said: “It’s amazing to have won the trophy, it’s a massive achievement. It’s great The Salvation Army put this event on and everyone’s really enjoyed the day. Peter Shilton congratulated me which was brilliant.”
Mitch Menagh, The Salvation Army’s Territorial Director of Homelessness Services, said: “The tournament was a great success. The men and women from our centres were really excited to be able to meet Peter Shilton. It was great to see them develop confidence, a sense of achievement, and to work as a team. It’s a highlight for many of the people who attend and we believe the tournament really helps build confidence and important life skills. “As a Church and charity we care about the whole person and in our Lifehouses we do this by offering a listening ear, education, training, volunteering, employment skills and much more to help break the cycle of homelessness.”
Phil Spalding, 55, is a successful bass player who has performed with Mick Jagger, Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams, Elton John, Seal and many more. Phil also went to The Partnership Trophy to talk to those from the Army’s Lifehouses and centres about his own experiences as a former drug user. Phil became addicted to a range of narcotics, such as heroine, cocaine, valium, cannabis as well as alcohol. It was a long journey. The realisation he needed to break his addiction came when he was standing in court for drug-related offences. His mother, a committed member of The Salvation Army, persuaded him to stay at The Salvation Army’s Gloucester House in 2005. Gloucester House in Highworth, near Swindon, is a care quality commission registered treatment centre which provides residential rehabilitation for people with substance misuse, drug, and alcohol misuse. When Phil arrived he went on a 21-day detox and on October 21 will have been clean for eight years.
Now Phil works as a Hepatitis C adviser with an organisation called Swindon and Wiltshire Alcohol and Drug Service and lives in a Salvation Army Housing Association flat in Swindon. He said: “The light bulb went on for me when I was in court for petty drug-related crime – although no crime is petty – but I knew then that I needed to get help. I want to let people, who have gone through similar situations to what I did, know that you can come out of it. I came out of it, and you can have a fulfilling life afterwards and do something worthwhile. I know what drug addiction is like, and thanks to The Salvation Army, I have come through it and my life has changed for the better.”
Peter Shilton OBE, said: "It’s been a great day. It was a privilege to see how The Salvation Army is using football to help people develop their confidence and life skills. It was clear that the tournament helped people to enjoy working as part of a team whilst getting the opportunity to meet new people with a common interest. The Salvation Army's Lifehouses are clearly very inspiring and welcoming places and it was a fantastic event to be involved in.”
Pret-a-Manger provided lunch for all the competitors free of charge.