02 Oct Church leader’s pride as Braintree football team reaches national homelessness tournament quarter finals
A team representing Braintree Salvation Army competed in the charity’s annual homelessness football tournament on Thursday (27 September), reaching the quarter finals of the plate competition.
Now in its eighth year, the Partnership Trophy is a day for celebrating the achievements of people living in Salvation Army homelessness accommodation. The competition brought together 32 teams representing Salvation Army centres from across the UK and Ireland.
The Braintree Salvation Army team was made up of staff and residents of New Direction Lifehouse on Bocking End and Braintree Foyer on St Michael’s Road, which offer accommodation and specialist support for people experiencing homelessness.
Lieutenant Richard Wearmouth (33), the local Salvation Army church leader, started football training to build a sense of community, promote positive and healthy activity and boost the confidence of the residents of both centres who have tackled many obstacles in their lives.
Richard said: “I’m so proud of each player – they really grew as a team as the tournament progressed. It was such a positive experience for the players. They really enjoyed meeting the other teams and getting to know people facing similar challenges. Everyone is keen to keep training together now that we’re back in Braintree – bring on next year!”
Kelly Smith, known as the UK’s greatest female footballer, attended the day as the special guest. She was open about her own struggles with addiction and isolation and inspired the players by taking part in a Q&A over a lunch, which was donated by Partnership Trophy supporters, Pret A Manger.