Homeless FA Training Centres are 5 day programmes of activity run in partnership with professional football clubs. As well as the inspirational experience of signing a contract and being treated like a player at a professional football club, they include a programme of incentivised learning and deliver a leadership qualification to every participating player.
In 2014, our Training Centre partners were Arsenal, Aston Villa, Brighton and Hove Albion, Bristol City, Derby County, Fulham, Hull City, Manchester United, Norwich City and Sunderland.
Applications to Homeless FA Training Centres are open only to those who have experienced homelessness in the last year, and priority will be given to players who have not already attended a Homeless FA Training Centre. Each Training Centre includes:
The Training Centres are a great experience and opportunity for all players, regardless of football ability. The emphasis is on personal development, both on and off the pitch, and we support players to increase their self-confidence, self-esteem, and offer help to improve stress management, teach leadership and a range of other life skills.
The Training Centre Programme is the first step on the Team England ladder, with 20 men and 20 women eventually selected to form the squads. Activity for these squads includes the Homeless World Cup. Players are selected using assessment criteria in line with the Homeless FA’s vision, with particular focus on positive attitude, teamwork, commitment, interpersonal and organisational skills, and improved physical health.
This programme is all about personal development and we are keen to identify individuals who are intent on moving their lives forward and can benefit most from the opportunities we are able to provide. Players are not selected based on football ability and we would emphasise to anyone applying to the Training Centres that this is not a focus of our work.
Many additional opportunities are provided by our Training Centre partner clubs further to the 5-day programme of activity. These include employment, volunteering, training and further education.
The 2014 Training Centre Programme application process is now closed.
Homeless FA Peer Mentors are in attendance throughout the Training Centres. Their role is to encourage and support players by drawing on their experience of a Homeless FA Training Centre. These Peer Mentors are selected and trained by the Homeless FA from outstanding participants in previous Training Centre/Team England programmes. Football club staff and Peer Mentors select players for the England squad.