Residents and volunteers from supported housing providers YMCA Bournemouth and Hope Housing were rightly proud of their team’s recent victory in Bournemouth Football Club’s Unity League. The ‘Raiders’ achieved 18 points to become 2018/2019 Bournemouth Unity League Champions, having won six of their games and losing only two.
The Unity League was set up in January 2018 by AFC Bournemouth’s Community Sports Trust to provide local footballers with regular competitive matches and local organisations such as The Quay Foyer, Dorset Mental Health Forum’s REACH, YMCA Bournemouth and Hope Housing with the opportunity to get involved.
Our Accommodation Support Worker Ricky Codadeen both played in the team and helped coach the Raiders in partnership with Alan Gurluk of Hope Housing. The team featured homeless individuals currently housed by the two charities plus a number of volunteers.
“It was a fantastic season for Raiders FC with our players giving their very best to finish as 2018/2019 Bournemouth Unity League champions,” said Ricky. “The season was tough with players picking up serious injuries along the way and us having to make a lot of tactical changes, but they responded really well.
“It is difficult for the lads dealing with a lot of complex issues. Many haven’t played football for years so it was a massive achievement and a great partnership between YMCA Bournemouth and Hope Housing.
“A special thanks goes to our European volunteers for taking part and to AFC Bournemouth for organising the league. It was a pleasure to be a player/coach and I am very proud of our team – they worked their socks off!”
Regular Raiders team member and supported housing resident Syed Ali said it felt great to have come top of the league. He also emphasised how useful the experience had been:
“Given where we have come from and where we are now, people have a lot of issues going on. When you take part in a team it takes you out of that. You make friends. It brings people together and helps you get your head straight. It’s a chance for you to breathe again.”
To find out more about our the support we provide our housing residents please visit http://ymcabournemouth.org.uk/housing/