A group from Ryde’s Salvation Army Fellowship House Lifehouse recently represented a Southern England team in a special football tournament, with great success.
The Partnership Trophy is a 5-a-side event that brings people who are experiencing homelessness together through football; the team was made up of 5 players, 4 of which were from Ryde.
The team travelled to Manchester for the annual competition, which is run by The Salvation Army. It sees teams come together to compete from across 30 UK and Ireland-based Salvation Army Lifehouses (centres for people who experience homelessness).
The Southern England team were crowned winners of the second division and received the Partnership Plate, following a gruelling day of competition. In the final, the team triumphed over a Birmingham team with a dramatic 5-2 victory.
This year’s Partnership Trophy special guest was Ex-Celtic and Wales international footballer and TV pundit, John Hartson, who joined the competition for the day to cheer on the teams and present medals and trophies.
Martin Lawther, a service user and team player from Ryde’s Fellowship House, said:
“It was an amazing day, one which I will never forget. I have met some amazing people and made new friendships. We came as underdogs and left as champions! I can’t wait to try and defend the cup next year!”
Jamie Brenchley, Service Manager for The Salvation Army, Fellowship House said:
“The opportunity to journey with the team and to witness their transformations as individuals and a group during this football tournament was truly inspirational. Service users arrived at this event with little faith and left with hope of a better future. Football is a powerful vehicle that brings people together and during the tournament we witnessed the positive impact this can have on an individual’s health and well-being.”
Following the team’s success, Ryde’s Fellowship House is looking to continue using football to help its residents; sponsorship opportunities are available for local companies or individuals in the Isle of Wight who would like to help fund a new kit.
Local people are encouraged to email Jamie for more information on [email protected].