The Street Football Association (formerly known as the Homeless FA) is England’s national street football body, running programmes that use football as a means of improving the lives of individuals experiencing homelessness and social exclusion. It also manages and selects Street Football Team England and is part of Centrepoint, the leading youth homelessness charity.
With The Peter Cruddas Foundation’s support, the Street Football Association will shortly be launching its latest and most ambitious initiative, a year-round programme of sport/developmental activity, delivered in partnership with England’s top professional football clubs. The project will include engaging street football training and workshops – designed to develop both football and functional life skills – interwoven with the delivery of other training and qualifications. Through a range of progression routes - including volunteering, training and employment – the project will empower participants to positively transform their lives and ultimately, escape social exclusion and homelessness.
The Street Football Association
The Street Football Association (SFA) is part of Centrepoint, the leading national charity for homeless young people (aged 16-25). Formerly known as the Homeless FA, The SFA utilises the inspirational and aspirational power of football to positively transform the lives of individuals experiencing homelessness and social exclusion. The SFA also selects and manages Team England, the nation’s official homelessness football team.
The SFA’s Vision
Based on the success of The SFA’s award winning six-week Training Centre programme, our vision is a year-round programme of football/life skills activity that will transform the lives of 1,000 people annually. To achieve this, we will create ‘hubs’ of activity in partnership with professional football clubs throughout England. Following engagement in the hub activities, project beneficiaries (we call them ‘players’) will progress into work experience and employment and leave issues including homelessness far behind.
In May 2016, a generous donation of £25,000 from The Peter Cruddas Foundation enabled us to officially launch this ambitious and potentially ground-breaking new initiative. Although the project is still in its infancy and will continue to be implemented and developed over the coming months and years, the following information highlights the activities and achievements this grant has so far made possible.
Project activities and achievements (May – Oct 2016)
Our new London hub: Thanks to your funding we have now established our first ever Centrepoint Sport Hub. Located at The Black Prince Trust in Lambeth, this is now The Street Football Association’s national centre of operations, comprising an office space for the project team (Gareth, Konrad and Emily), a multi-use workshop space, a number of 3G football pitches and other sports facilities (including an athletics track, fitness gym, boxing gym and indoor basketball courts). In addition to activities delivered at our partner football clubs’ facilities, the Centrepoint Sport Hub will be our very own London delivery site and the location of exciting new initiatives, such as the Street Football Association Festivals.
Partnerships and programmes developed with clubs: The SFA team have now developed official partnerships with the community arms of 24 professional football clubs - including Arsenal in the Community, the Manchester United Foundation and the Foundation of Light in Sunderland. Since establishing these partnerships we have been working with each club to implement Real Skills FC - our street football and life skills coaching model, specially designed in partnership with organisations including Nike and The Homeless World Cup. Real Skills FC is now being trialled by the clubs, interweaving it with homelessness-specific workshops and other areas (relevant to homelessness) such as probation, drug & alcohol, youth offending, and mental health services. These programmes will eventually constitute the primary activity of the project, helping beneficiaries change entrenched negative behaviour (caused by homelessness/social exclusion), develop vital skills (e.g. interpersonal, team work, communication) and gain experience that will take them closer to employment.
Our very first Street Football Association Festivals: As a progression route/incentive and to celebrate the achievements of our players as they move through the project, your grant has enabled us to organise our first Street Football Association Festival. The festival, held at our Centrepoint Sport Hub, was a great success with teams from Arsenal, Fulham, QPR, Tottenham, Crystal Palace, Brighton, Norwich City and Southampton participating. Arsenalís male team and Tottenhamís female team were the eventual winners, but all participants fully enjoyed the day.
For more information visit homelessfa.org