For a long time, CFU has thought that as a football club we should continue to form links in the wider community with organisations. through the power of sport, we have a powerful tool that enables Cambridge United to ensure it is a football club that is at the heart of its community.
CFU has recently formed a new and important link with the YMCA youth hostel in Cambridge. The YMCA organisation is a local charity whose services provide opportunities and support for all young people, whether they are facing difficult and challenging issues or simply looking for a new direction. They provide an extensive range of programmes and interventions. This includes Housing, Childcare, Health & Fitness, Youth Projects, Youth Justice Services, Mental Health Counselling, Employability Programmes, Volunteering and much more.
From taking the time to visit service users at the hostel, Ben Phillips Vice chair of CFU worked with the organisation at forming a link with the football club and to help the users of the hostel. Working with contacts at Cambridge City Council, CFU have set up a charity football tournament for YMCA service users, hostels and homeless shelters, allowing them to play competitive football against each other in a tournament.
The Hostel already runs weekly football sessions for several of its residents and participating in sport gives those struggling something else to focus on and has proven greatly beneficial for their mental health. One of the things that the hostel lacks is facilities for putting on the session and players did not have simple equipment like boots and shin pads to play safely. Ben came up with an idea of providing much needed equipment to the hostel through donations of old unwanted equipment from CFU members and people at the football club. CFU and 100yearsof coconuts quickly gathered up a collection of old Football boots to ensure the hostel participants could continue to play football. They have now delivered enough boots to ensure that everyone who plays in the session owns their own pair of football boots.
Dan Goddard, care worker said; “Our residents are excited for the football tournament that we have planned for homeless hostels in Cambridge. The tournament will bring those in need in the community of Cambridge together and highlight the issues they face. It will allow people to share and talk about their issues and enjoy themselves for one day. With the kind generosity of the boot donations our residents are now able to feel part of something and play football easier in their weekly sessions, leading up to the tournament. The simple thing of just owning a pair of football boots and having someone like the football club reach out to a community organisation and show they care, is a big deal and shows that football clubs like Cambridge United are top of the league with having a big heart for people and helping others”.
Through CFU’s new link with Dan at the YMCA it is hoped that they can work together on providing further events and support for the homeless hostels of all ages around Cambridge.
If anybody would like to donate any unwanted football boots, shin pads or kit for the homeless hostels around Cambridge then please email us on email@example.com
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