Getting involved with Street Football Wales
SFW promotes social inclusion and encourages individuals to take an active role in their own lives through achievement and self- development.
The people we aim to support are those furthest away from mainstream support provision who are likely to be homeless and/or socially excluded because of this. Positive involvement with the project can help to benefit participants, their families and their local communities.
Once engaged, participants receive direct support or signposting to professional specialist agencies to enable them to achieve positive outcomes and greater independence.
Partner organisations include statutory and voluntary organisations in the regions we target. They benefit from participant involvement through the reduction of costs associated with social deprivation such as offending and anti-social behaviour.
Homeless World Cup
In 2001, Mel Young and Harald Schmied developed the idea of utilising sport to inspire homeless people to transform their futures. The international language of football seemed an obvious vehicle, and the Homeless World Cup was born. The first tournament was held in 2003 in Graz, Austria.
The Homeless World Cup now operates via a network of 74 national partners, supporting football-based programmes and social enterprise development around the world.
Our street football partners operate in 420 cities, reaching 100,000 homeless people every year. So far, the Homeless World Cup and its partners have impacted the lives of 1 million homeless people around the globe.
The 15th Homeless World Cup football tournament will take place in Norway in August 2017.
Dai, Welsh Dragons 2017
Dai is a 40-year-old man who spent his childhood in care, missed out on his education and following committing a serious offense as a teenager, spent a number of years in prison. On his release from custody, Dai was homeless, felt that his future was hopeless, became addicted to drugs and suffered several blackouts for days at a time.
Following the unfortunate death of his brother, Dai decided that he needed to make some changes and sought help from WGCADA. From there he was sent to a training course which happened to be facilitated by one of SFW’s board of trustees. He was told about SFW, came along to the next match day and the rest is history.
Dai states that joining SFW is one of the best things that he has ever done. He is unbelievably proud of being able to wear his Welsh kit and tracksuit in his local community, all of whom are very proud of his achievement.
Dai enjoyed everything that the Homeless World Cup had to offer – he embraced every new experience and had a positive attitude throughout, quietly looking out for others in the squad and being there for his teammates.
On his return from the tournament, Dai attended our Homecoming event and was presented with the SFW Player of The Tournament and is a credit to himself, family and SFW.
Dai is moving forward in all areas of life with confidence and a renewed sense of optimism for his future. He has re-connected with his daughter and has a new baby granddaughter who he cherishes.
Cerah, Welsh Warriors 2017
Cerah is an 18-year-old young woman who was living in a hostel for young homeless people when she was selected to represent Wales at the Homeless World Cup in Oslo, Norway in 2017. Relationships within her family had broken down and Cerah was very defensive and cynical of everyone and everything.
Cerah’s confidence and self-belief were almost non-existent and as a result, she often presented as hostile. We lost count of the number of times Cerah attempted to self-sabotage to get kicked off the team. But we understood what she was doing and vowed that we would not validate all of the negative beliefs that she had about herself by giving up on her.
Even after arriving in Oslo, it wasn’t long before Cerah was insisting that she had to go home. However, with each day that passed, Cerah opened up a little more and she was free to be herself. She was dancing and singing and allowing the support staff to look after her. Cerah was also experiencing life without weed for the first time in several years.
The standout moment, however, was following a confrontation between the Warriors and another team. Cerah and a player from the other team were antagonizing one another and had the situation been playing out in their every day lives at home, it’s likely that it might have ended in violence. However, the following day Cerah took great pride in coming to tell us that she had approached the other player and apologized to her and that they had shaken hands and made friends.
Cerah has since spoken a lot about how amazing the experience was and how SFW have shown more belief in her than anyone ever has in her life.
On her return from the tournament, Cerah attended our Homecoming event and was presented with the SFW Ignite Award as someone who we had seen an authentic, genuine shift takes place – a spark of change that we know will become much much more.
Cerah has also been pro-active in making a change in her life and has since moved out of the hostel she was living in and is now living independently.