Over 180 footballers from across North East England competed in annual charity football match, The Oasis Cup, on Friday (23 September) raising a phenomenal £12,500 for young mums and babies and other men and women facing homelessness, who are supported by Gateshead-based charity Oasis Community Housing.

Homelessness rose by 11% in the first quarter of this year revealing the number of households struggling to keep a roof over their heads even before the impact of soaring bills this winter.

The 26 five-a-side teams came from businesses from the region, ranging from restaurants to solicitors, architects and construction companies – spanning Middlesbrough to Newcastle – played throughout the afternoon in the hope of winning ‘The Oasis Cup’. It was FaulknerBrowns Architects who were crowned champions, with Bethany City Church taking second place.

Other accolades went to: Tank House 6 Dream Boys (AkzoNobel) who won the Team Spirit Award; Player of the Tournament, Harrison Avery; FaulknerBrowns Goal Keeper; and Ben Graham from Lowes Financial won Top Goal Scorer, with an impressive 8 goals.

Hazel Ditchburn of Oasis Community Housing, who organised the event, said, “We’ve been overwhelmed by the level of support we’ve received from the business community for The Oasis Cup – especially given these hard economic times.

“Its only thanks to events like this and the generosity of our supporters that we can continue to help rough sleepers off the streets and into supported accommodation as well as preventive services such as domestic abuse support, and  access to education and employment. But, much more than that, offer people on the brink of society hope, security, self-worth and an opportunity to start over.”

This year’s charity football match sees twice as many teams competing as last year, with triple the amount raised. The Oasis Cup was made possible thanks to sponsors Piloté Classic cars and Gateshead FC, who helped in organising the event.