Helping the homeless through football coaching

Participants from the Foundation of Light programme.
Participants from the Foundation of Light programme.
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People who have experienced homelessness delivered a football coaching session to almost 100 Wearside schoolchildren as they completed an “inspiring” course.

It was part of a six-week programme from the Foundation of Light, the official charity of Sunderland AFC, in partnership with the Homeless FA.

Foundation education curriculum lead Chris Hooker with Homeless FA Training Centre participants.

Foundation education curriculum lead Chris Hooker with Homeless FA Training Centre participants.

It took place at Farrington Community Academy, in Allendale Road, Sunderland, to mark the completion of the accredited course.

It aims to enhance personal and leadership skills, while increasing self-confidence and physical health.

The Homeless FA Training Centre programme aims to help players progress into further education, training or work.

After completing the course, participant Michael McClean said: “The programme has been a great experience and I’ve learned a lot. Gaining my Sport Leadership qualification is the first step, and I’ve picked up tips through coaching sessions we’ve delivered, which has been massive for my confidence. I’ve loved the coaching side of it, and it’s something I want to move into. I feel I’ve got options now thanks to Foundation of Light and the Homeless FA.”

The programme has been a great experience and I’ve learned a lot.

Michael McClean, programme participant

Chris Hooker, Foundation of Light’s education curriculum lead, said: “We have ensured they have plenty of progression and exit routes – they have spoken to staff from our employability and adult learning programmes and been shown the different options available to them.

“The change from the first week, where some of our participants were a little withdrawn and nervous, to interacting with the pupils has been really inspiring.

“It’s great to see all their hard work has paid off.”