Street Soccer sleepout a success

Mayor and Mayoress of Medway attend first sleepout event.

The first Street Soccer sleepout at the Medway Priestfield Stadium on Friday evening was a great success.

A number of attendees slept under the lights at the home of Football in Kent; the aim to encourage a coming together of the local business community to help raise money and awareness for sleeping outdoors for one night: raising sponsorship from their business contacts and friends.

Street Soccer and the Gillingham FC Community Trust are working closely on a number of projects, with Chairman Paul Scally also showing his full support by allowing the annual sleepout event to take place.

Keith Mabbutt, the CEO, said: “The Street Soccer Foundation is a charity I formed in 2015. This past weekend we held our very first official SLEEPOUT event at Priestfield Stadium, home of EFL side Gillingham FC.

"We were incredibly fortunate to have been supported on the night by a host of businesses including the Mayor and Mayoress of Medway.

“We want to help end homelessness in this country. And we want to give our young people a future.”

Michael (21), of Gillingham, secured a full-time role at Barnet FC, following his recent graduation from the Street Soccer Academy. Michael had been homeless for six months before he joined the course. “The programme has definitely changed my life; I’m more positive than I’ve ever been. I would recommend the Street Soccer course to everyone. It really helped me and I loved it.”

Jodie (20) of Tonbridge, was homeless and had been sleeping rough on and off for two years after falling out with her Mum and Dad. To her own admission, she is now able to reflect on what she describes as a life-changing experience after graduating from the Street Soccer Academy course. “Projects like Street Soccer are so important. They really help people in situations like I found myself. It really helps to give people a chance. They do an amazing job and I can’t thank them enough.”


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