LHT homeless hostel staff spot new sports star
Published by Chenoa Parr for Symphony Housing Group in Housing and also in Communities
L-R) John Finnigan & Jessica Lomax
A teenage footballer, talent spotted by staff at a homeless hostel, is set to represent England in the 2012 Homeless World Cup in Mexico.
Jessica Lomax, 19, from Huyton, will be competing with 500 gifted players from 64 countries around the world at the global championship next month.
The striker was spotted by John Finnigan who works as a support worker at Liverpool Housing Trust’s homeless hostel Alt Bank House, in Fazakerley.
Jessica spent five months living at Alt Bank House earlier this year after a change in her family circumstances.
Staff helped her get her life back on track with life skills and cookery courses and Jessica also joined in with football training.
Everton fan Jessica had always played football and represented her school in tournaments but had never thought about pursuing it professionally.
John spotted her potential on the pitch during training and helped Jessica join Liverpool Homeless FC which brings talented homeless footballers together with Everton in the Community coaches.
Jessica and John then worked together on an application to the 2012 Homeless World Cup and earlier this month Jessica discovered that she’d been picked for the women’s squad.
Jessica, who’s now living in her own flat, said: “I’m so excited. I really love my football – it’s more than a hobby for me. I’ve only ever been to Spain so I’m looking forward to going to Mexico and representing my country.
“Without John none of this would have happened so I can’t say thank you enough to him and all the staff at Alt Bank House for helping me.”
Upon her return from Mexico Jessica is hoping to join the Everton Ladies FC second team.
She said: “People tell me I have excellent ball control and a mean left foot. I love playing upfront. Football is important to me and I’d like a career in sports in the future.”