Ipswich football team tackle homelessness

The Salvation Army’s annual football tournament for people who are homeless will kick off this week for the eleventh year.  

The Partnership Trophy, which is run by the church and charity and it’s subsidiary, The Salvation Army Housing Association (SAHA), will bring together football teams from Lifehouses (hostels), outreach programmes, and SAHA services, all of which provide support for people who are homeless across the UK including one from Lyndon House in Ipswich.

This year’s tournament will also see the refugees and survivors of modern slavery who receive wide-ranging support at The Salvation Army’s safehouses taking part. 

Special guest, former England football manager and player, Terry Butcher, who captained the England team in the 1990 World Cup and played in three FIFA World Cups, will be cheering on the teams and inspiring players throughout the day. Mr Butcher will share top football tips, as well as his own experiences of tackling depression after he lost his son to suicide.

Sharon Ralph, Lyndon House manager for The Salvation Army, said: “Our annual Partnership Trophy celebrates those we support through our homelessness services, and we’re pleased to be able to bring it back for another year. It’s a great way of everyone coming together, whilst exercise and team sports are perfect for boosting mental and physical health as well as social skills.

“There are often very complex reasons why people find themselves homeless and so this tournament is a way for us to celebrate all that they have overcome, the journey they’re on, and the support they have from us and our partners at each step of the way.”

Alongside Terry Butcher, the five-a-side tournament is being supported by the Guardiola Sala Foundation, a humanitarian charity set up by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and his family, who attended the Partnership Trophy in 2019 and 2021.  

Major Hilarie Watchorn, Assistant Director of the Homelessness Services Unit for The Salvation Army said: “We’re thrilled that Terry Butcher will be with us on the day, spurring our players on and talking about his life on and off the pitch. We also want to extend a heartfelt thanks to the Guardiola Sala Foundation, who have supported us and our residents for a number of years.”

More than 20 teams from around the UK will take part in the Partnership Trophy in Manchester on Thursday, 29th September, including the team from Lyndon House in Ipswich.