Homeless teenager makes Team England
Published by Porchlight for Porchlight in Housing and also in Communities
Rosie Martin, 18, currently staying at a supported accommodation project run by homelessness charity Porchlight, has been selected to be part of the England women’s team at this year’s Homeless World Cup in Mexico City (6-14 October).
The annual football tournament unites teams of homeless people from countries all around the globe. Rosie will be joining 7 other young homeless women from across the country to compete against 13 national teams including Argentina, Brazil and the Netherlands.
Rosie came to Porchlight after her mental health deteriorated so much that she tried to take her life on two occasions and the family home was no longer an option: "I self-harmed on a daily basis and tried to commit suicide twice before I was readmitted to hospital. My parents said they wouldn’t feel comfortable taking me back home after that. The hospital suggested Porchlight and I applied for a place in one of the charity’s young persons’ hostels. Luckily I was accepted.
"The accommodation has given me something stable to build from and the support has been amazing. It has meant that I have stopped self-harming altogether. I couldn’t do it by myself; I needed someone fighting my corner."
Rosie’s confidence has gone from strength to strength and her commitment at the training sessions run by the Homeless Football Association impressed the selection committee enough to earn her a place in the squad. 2012 will be the first year that England enters both a men's team and a women's team into the tournament.
Rosie is understandably excited by the experience: “I doubt I’ll ever have an opportunity like this again. I have already met lots of new people at the training sessions and enjoyed tours of Arsenal and Manchester United’s stadiums. I even got to meet Fara Williams who plays for England!”
A total of 30 female players were selected to attend training centres at Everton, West Bromwich, Albion Ladies and Arsenal, each earning an FA Junior Leaders Award at the end of it. The players then attended a national 'Team England Day' hosted by Manchester United where the Team England squads were selected.
Richard Barnard, Activities Coordinator at Porchlight runs regular football training sessions at the charity: “I am so proud of what Rosie has achieved. Sport has always been an excellent way to encourage vulnerable people to change their lives for the better. It gives individuals the confidence and skills to move forward positively. What could be more positive than playing for your country?”
The Homeless FA will continue training with Rosie on and off the pitch in Mexico, focusing on further increasing her self-confidence and leadership skills.
Rosie has just started a college course in Health and Social Care and is starting to rebuild relationships with her family.