Homeless footballers and youngsters with mental illness take to the field in Baldock to highlight progress of Da 1 in Ten Sports Mentoring Projekt

Hitchin Town Community FC

Hitchin Town Community FC - Credit: Archant

A team of homeless footballers and young people with mental illness and learning difficulties took on their mentors in a match which aimed to raise awareness of a project that works to reintegrate them into society through sport.

Hitchin Town Community FC

Hitchin Town Community FC - Credit: Archant

The match in aid of Da 1 in Ten Sports Mentoring Projekt at the Arena in Baldock’s Norton Road on Monday pitted the blend of homeless players and youngsters against project key workers and staff from the North Herts Haven and North Herts Sanctuary. The mentors lost the game 7-6.

“It was an exhibition match just to showcase where we are right now,” said project leader Marc Campbell, a community sports coach at Hitchin Town FC who also used to play for the club.

“When a homeless person gets involved with the project they communicate and build relationships with others. They become team-mates, learning to trust and share, and they feel part of something. These skills are all transferable to daily life and help them to change their lives.”

Marc’s original aim was to try to get North Herts players to the Homeless World Cup.

Haven Sanctuary Staff, Project Workers From Hitchin

Haven Sanctuary Staff, Project Workers From Hitchin - Credit: Archant


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“We had one guy who showed great potential, but he couldn’t try out for the tournament because we ran out of money,” he said.

“We’ve been going again about eight weeks now, and it has gone really well. On Monday we’re taking them to a big tournament in Northampton to represent Hitchin Town Community FC.

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“Our goal’s still the same – to get our players to trial for the Homeless World Cup.”

North Herts Homeless Shelter, Hitchin Town Ability A Squad

North Herts Homeless Shelter, Hitchin Town Ability A Squad - Credit: Archant

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