8th Annual Football Trophy Celebrates Salvation Army’s Residents’ Achievements
Every year The Salvation Army hosts the Partnership Trophy, a football tournament between lifehouses that is not only a fun day but is also a celebration of success over life’s obstacles. This year the event takes place on Thursday the 27th of September. Over 20 teams from lifehouses and homelessness support services will take part.
Fun is also part of rehabilitation and support
The Salvation Army knows that a lot of different things go into empowering people so that they get the confidence and skills needed to reintegrate with society. As Mitch Menagh, Director of The Salvation Army’s Homelessness Services, said, “We recognise that it’s not just food and shelter that is needed to help people rebuild their lives, so in our lifehouses, alongside our training in basic life skills and housing, employment, and addiction support services, we also provide support that boosts people’s confidence and well-being. Exercise and sport are positive ways for people to spend their time, as well as boosting both their physical and mental health.”
Contributing to the fun at this year’s event is special guest Kelly Smith, the greatest female footballer in the UK. Smith both plays for and coaches Arsenal, and holds the record for scoring the most goals for England: 46 goals! In addition to meeting participants throughout the day, she will also conduct a life skills session.
Commenting on Kelly Smith’s appearance Mitch Menagh said, “The Partnership Trophy is a celebration of everything our residents have overcome and achieved, and it’s a day for everyone in our services to come together – staff, volunteers, and service users alike – for some healthy competition and a bit of fun. Having Kelly there will be a real highlight and it will be great for our service users to be able to hear her share her experiences from on and off the pitch.”
Comments from a service user
Stephen is a resident at one of the lifehouses and is looking forward to participating in the trophy. After growing up in a household of addicts and going through a series of unfortunate events, Stephen ended up sleeping rough on the streets in Ipswich.
Feeling worthless and turning to drink himself, Stephen’s situation got steadily worse, until out of desperation he took some money out of the till where he worked and ended up charged and sacked. Fortunately, at rock bottom, someone referred him to The Salvation Army’s Lyndon House Lifehouse, and he moved in December 2017.
In addition to The Salvation Army, he receives support from local agencies to help recover from alcoholism and the origins of his emotional, behavioural, and psychological problems. Stephen attends football training every Friday.
Stephen said, “This place is a stepping stone for me to move to the next level.”
Commenting on the benefits of football, Stephen said, “Feeling like you’re part of a team is so uplifting. I feel like I’m part of something that’s productive – not just for myself but for the other lads too.”
The Partnership Trophy will be held at Goals Manchester from 10:30 on Thursday the 27th of September.