Champions on and off the pitch

Vanarama National League North Champions, Gateshead FC have given the joy of the beautiful game to homeless people by donating over 100 football tickets.

“I haven’t been to a football match in years, since I was a kid. It was brilliant.”

Football fever is definitely taking hold at our Gateshead homelessness projects. The club have donated over 100 tickets over the last few months to our Basis Beds projects.

Louise, project worker at Basis Beds, knows what a difference it makes when the community get behind our projects:

“Gateshead FC have been amazing, donating tickets to some home matches for our Basis Beds residents. Many residents, during a time of instability and crisis, are unable to access social community events such as football matches.”

Community coming together

Oasis Community Housing’s Basis Beds project provides supported housing for men in North East England facing homelessness. They also provide hands on support to apply for benefits, managing finances and physical and mental health support.

Over the last few months they’ve also been able to take the residents to the match thanks to Gateshead FC. The Club’s Communications and Marketing Developer James Rushmore has been behind the support:

“Gateshead Football Club is delighted to partner with Oasis Community Housing by offering a range of opportunities to attend fixtures at the International Stadium. The charity provides an invaluable service across Tyne and Wear and as a community focused football club, we’re incredibly proud to support them.

“We’re thrilled to hear that those who have already come along to a match have enjoyed their visit and look forward to strengthening the connection with Oasis going forward! “

It’s not just tickets the club have supported the charity with, they hosted the charity’s first football tournament last September and plan on hosting the return of The Oasis Cup again this year.

The residents have certainly enjoyed the matches with one saying he hadn’t been to a match since he was a child and another taking his son along for the first time:

“Thank you very much for the tickets, its been great to go to the matches because I can’t afford to do this myself and it’s seomthing I can do with my son.”

Part of something great

Louise has witnessed first-hand the impact of the football on those she supports: “It has been fantastic to offer residents the opportunity to attend matches with a friend. It has really touched the hearts of many residents who are extremely appreciative of the opportunity.

“These small things many take for granted, like seeing your local football club play at home, are the things that really do remind the people we serve that they are an important part of the community.”

Luke Elton, Head of Service Improvement, explains more about this amazing project,

“Basis Beds is a supported housing project providing fully furnished and self-contained flats in our local communitieis, along with help along the way, to those with complex needs and longer-term experiences of homelessness and housing crisis.

It aims to provide people experiencing homelessness, and other challenges in their lives, with the foundations on which to build fulfilled lives through secure and comfortable surroundings – and the passion and care of our support teams.”

Head to our Get Involved pages to find out how you can support Basis Beds and our other projects. Together we can bring hope, not homelessness.