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07 August 2014

The Welsh housing sector - helping Wales to get to the World Cup!

A charity football match took place at the Eisteddfod in Llanelli yesterday to help Street Football Wales’ (SFW) bid for world cup glory!

Street Football Wales (SFW) is a social inclusion project run in partnership with housing, care and support provider Grŵp Gwalia and funded by The Big Lottery.

The match formed part of the Welsh housing sector’s fundraising bid to send two SFW teams, both male and female to the Homeless World Cup in Chile.

SFW players selected to play for Wales in the Homeless World Cup (HWC) proudly donned their Welsh kits and took on players from Community Housing Cymru, Tai Calon and Care & Repair Cymru in a ‘friendly’ match. After a gripping and well-fought match the score was 4-1 to the victorious housing sector players. Sioned Hughes, Interim Chief Executive of CHC, awarded the winning team’s trophy.

The match was organised by Community Housing Cymru (CHC), the representative body for housing associations in Wales. CHC has chosen SFW as its charity of the year and gained the housing sector’s support to fundraise to send the teams to Chile this autumn.

SFW players are delighted to have been selected to represent their country at the prestigious and life-changing HWC, but in order to attend SFW have to raise in the region of £30k to cover their flights, accommodation, food and kits, among many other things.

SFW have to fundraise in order for Wales and the players to be represented at the event. Inspired by the work of SFW, CHC launched a campaign in June with backing from the housing sector in Wales to help raise half the monies needed. SFW have their own campaign to raise the other half.

As well as the charity match, CHC and members have so far taken part in various fundraising events including football-related fun at conferences, held Wear a Footie kit to work days and World Cup sweepstakes. Around £5,000 has been raised so far.

Sioned Hughes, Interim Chief Executive of CHC said: “There is a lot of passion from within the sector to help the SFW players to go and take part in this life-changing opportunity. We’re all doing our very best to raise the money so that the players, and indeed Wales, can take part in a World Cup in 2014.”

Geraint Edwards, a previous player and now a Street Football Wales Community Coach, said: “SFW really do change people’s lives and I can say that from first hand experience. We cannot wait to take the Welsh team to Chile this year to The Homeless World Cup. Taking part in this tournament creates an opportunity for players to proudly represent Wales and meet and build relationships with homeless people from other countries around the World.”

Keri Harris, Project Leader of Street Football Wales said: “Street Football Wales uses the power of football to help people turn their lives around. We are so thankful for the support the housing sector has given us. We are proud to represent Wales in the Homeless World Cup.”

During the Eisteddfod week, as well as the charity football match, CHC have a stand at the Maes in partnership with Care & Repair Cymru, Bro Myrddin HA and SFW, with fundraising activities including beat the goalie and Spot the Ball. All donations from these events will go into the SFW fundraising pot. Anyone can donate to SFW’s HWC fundraising campaign by going to: http://www.gofundme.com/bn1dvs