The Hertfordshire Homeless World Cup, run by Stevenage-based Haven First, has raised hundreds of pounds for Garden House Hospice Care.

A cheque for £500 was presented to the Letchworth-based hospice last week, following the tournament earlier this year.

The Comet: The event raised funds for Garden House Hospice CareThe event raised funds for Garden House Hospice Care (Image: Haven First)

The World Cup has been running annually for the past four years, and aims to to raise awareness of mental health issues in our community - that not only affect 'ordinary' people but also those who have become socially excluded through the effects of homelessness.

Blighted by lockdown restrictions in recent years, residents had been supported with a sports programme throughout, and were "delighted" to once again take part in the Homeless World Cup at Hitchin FC.

The Comet: Teams for homeless charities across Herts took part in the Homeless World Cup earlier this yearTeams for homeless charities across Herts took part in the Homeless World Cup earlier this year (Image: Haven First)

Haven First CEO Barbara Howard said: "Sports Inspirations played an integral part in funding this programme over the years for of whom we extremely grateful as too Hitchin Football Club who have always provided the professional venue.

Haven First' sports mentoring programme, delivered by Marcus Campbell in North Herts and Stevenage, has expanded to 60 clients coming up through the mental health and wellbeing programme to now gaining employment or being re-housed and integrated back into the community.

This year we were able to welcome residents from Haven First's Baldock project to participate with the focus on 'Sport Changing Lives, Changing Communities'.

Barbara added: "The Baldock project in High Street has been such a welcome resource for us to continue, as an interim solution for our supported housing related work, while we reignite the plans of developing the new hostel in Letchworth.

"The residents at this project really enjoyed participating in this event to boost ongoing fundraising funds required by Garden House.

"The 2022 Haven First HHWC came to an end as High Town representing Brazil were crowned champions after a tense victory over Herts Young Homeless representing Mexico!

"Well done, High Town Homeless Shelter in St Albans for being the winners of the Haven First Homeless Cup 2022. We look forward to a challenge in 2024!"