Tuesday 26th July saw the second annual Lloyds Bank/ Foundation football tournament take place in Leeds. Around twenty volunteers from Lloyds bank challenged teams from Foundation and two other charitable organisations, from Bradford and Barnsley. All of the players from Foundation were customers who are at risk of homelessness and are receiving support from the organisation.

The event was very competitive and everybody who played put in their all! Max Dixon from Lloyds Bank said his colleague’s volunteer for the event as it is incredibly enjoyable and, ‘a fantastic opportunity to meet people in the community’. Max and Foundation team member, Nicki Watkinson from Harrogate, set up the event, with Lloyds bank covering all the costs of the pitch and lunch for everyone.

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For the Harrogate customer team, this event was not only the first time that they had played together as a team, it was also for some, the first time they had met each other. They did incredibly well. Nicki commented how eager they had all been to take part. Following on from this event, Kieran, a Support Worker from the Harrogate team, looks forward to organising some weekly training for the customers. Look out for them next year!

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There were two Foundation customer teams from Leeds, young men who have been playing football together for a while, motivated and supported by Ibby and Brent from the Leeds team. Ibby explained how some of these customers had previously been involved in violent gang crime, but that the opportunities that Foundation are providing for them to play football on a regular basis was motivating them to change. Ibby said, ‘they’d play football seven days a week if they could!’ Ibby hopes that in the future he can organise for a drug worker to come to a football training session. The customers from the Leeds teams showed true sportsmanship throughout the day, going out of their way to support some of the less experienced players and the visiting teams.

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The event provided a wonderful opportunity for integration and networking. For the Foundation customer who was a Syrian refugee, playing football with his team mates is helping him to overcome language barriers. Another customer was said to have grown in confidence through football training, ‘before he couldn’t even look you in the eyes and now look at him, he’s beaming!’ said his Support Worker. The workers from the other charities involved commented on what a great opportunity Foundation was providing for their customers. ‘Friendlies’ have been arranged with both organisations and the Foundation teams.

The Lloyds bank volunteers have provided Foundation customers with a fantastic experience, not only to play football, but also to network and socialise with other people in the community. Nicki said that she had wanted to run the tournament to help raise aspirations for customers. Well it certainly did that and a whole lot more.


In the end it was one of the Leeds teams who won the tournament, after an emotional and competitive final against the Bradford team. Adele, a Lloyds Bank volunteer and chief referee for the tournament, built great rapport with all of the customers throughout the day and commanded respect from the teams during play. Jaden from the winning Leeds team also won the award for most goals scored in the tournament, a staggering twenty two goals!

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Huge thanks to Lloyds Bank for supporting Foundation customers to play the beautiful game. We look forward to an even bigger event next year!