Twenty players from Birmingham City Football Club Under 23s paid a special visit to a one of our supported accommodation schemes, Edmonds Court Foyer, based in Small Heath, Birmingham today as a pre-Christmas treat and to drop off some presents for the young residents as part of our Christmas Shoebox appeal.
The scheme is a Foyer which means that the majority of young people living at the scheme are engaged in some form of education, training and/ or employment and the scheme is both for single young people aged 16-25 and young working mothers with dependants.
This is the second Christmas visit the players have paid to St Basils after they visited St Basils emergency accommodation scheme Milner Court in Bordesley last year.
BCFC Chaplain Kirk McAtear who accompanied the players spoke to them about what a difference these sorts of initiatives make in the local community. Manager of Edmonds Court Lea Jackson then spoke to the players about the work of St Basils with 16-25 year olds and how homelessness can effect anyone. 'All of us are closer than we think, if we were to lose our jobs. Young people are particularly vulnerable as they're often starting at the bottom of the ladder at work, they're on low incomes, they have less life experience and don't necessarily have the skills as yet to pick themselves up again quickly enough if a crisis were to strike. Here at St Basils we provide wrap-around support to really help the young person gain all the skills they need including independent living skills to move on successfully and get back into education, training and employment'.
Edmonds Court Foyer Manager Lea Jackson said of the visit:
“This was a wonderful treat for our young people, many of whom are football fans. We’d like to thank them for supporting us again this year and paying a visit to our young people as it means so much to them!
Christmas can be a difficult time for our young people as most of them won’t be spending it with their families and the shoeboxes are packed with treats and other stocking fillers, they make a really nice surprise for our young people and give them a reason to look forward to Christmas day.”
One young resident, Harriet, 19 who is currently studying at college said: “I’m a football fan myself. I’d be a goalie if there were any girl’s teams to join in Birmingham. It was really lovely of them (BCFC) to take the time to come down. I’m really looking forward to opening my present, I wish I could open it now but I’ve got to wait until Christmas day!”
Another, songwriter and poet Owayne, 24 said: "It was unexpected to see them all here - it was a nice surprise. It's good of them to help promote the appeal so everyone will have something on Christmas day".
The last date to call us will be 22nd December 2016. Last day to donate 23rd December.
*Photos credit: Tim Easthope from Birmingham Mail