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Hostel Residents Use Cooking Skills for Football Tournament

Date posted: 18 Sep 2012

On 1 August 2012 residents of Willow Walk hostel, Cambridge put their new culinary and football skills to the test by catering for a football tournament for homeless people from all over Cambridge.

The tournament was free and aimed to involve the wider homeless community in sport, whether it be by playing or volunteering. It was organised by Streets Revolution to raise awareness of social isolation and how sport can help people regain their confidence.

In April 2012 a new training kitchen, funded by Church Housing Trust (CHT), was opened at Willow Walk hostel. The new facility is being used to help residents learn and develop kitchen skills and offers the opportunity to work towards gaining a basic food hygiene qualification. Residents prepared and cooked food, which was funded by a CHT grant, for approximately 300 people who were either playing or stewarding at the event.

Residents displaying some team work off the pitch and preparing the food for the tournament

“We played in our fabulous new kits provided by CHT funding.  The Cambridge Riverside ECHG teams have never won a game in a tournament but we won our first game against a Cambridgeshire Youth team 1-0!  We lost the other four with a team of residents and staff but a great day was had by all!”
Gary Hutchings, Team Leader, Willow Walk

Willow Walk and its sister hostel, Victoria Road, entered two teams into the tournament and the teams played five matches. After a tough day of competitive play the tournament was won by AFC Portsmouth.

Willow Walk is a hostel based in the heart of the city offering temporary self-catering accommodation with shared facilities for 22 single homeless people between the ages of 18-65 with a variety of long-term problems. During their stay residents are offered the support they need to help them overcome their difficulties and gain the confidence and skills they need to live independently.

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