A World Cup with a difference has changed the life of Hannah Voice at the age of 20.
Far from the media hype of the professional football , rugby and cricket tournaments Hannah is hoping for success in the current and unheralded Homeless World Cup.
Hannah, who lives at YMCA DownsLink Group’s Horsham Y Centre, has been in Amsterdam this week to play for England at the tournament.
Hannah was selected to play for Women’s Team England from hundreds of players across the country after successfully completing Homeless FA’s Training programme at the Brighton and Hove Albion stadium.
A family breakdown led to Hannah being supported by the housing project after she had to move out of her parents’ home.
Hannah has been at the Y Centre for over a year now and says she has managed to make many positives changes to her life, including getting back into playing football.
Hannah said: “This opportunity is something I am honoured to have been given. It has really changed my life. I can’t thank everybody enough who has helped make this happen”.
Horsham Y Centre learning and engagement Coordinator Kevin Budge said: “Hannah has done herself proud, she has battled through some tough personal issues and got this far due to her perseverance, enthusiasm and her sparkling personality.
“She used to play football a lot and this opportunity has helped rekindle her passion for the game, I wish her and the team luck at the World Cup and look forward to helping further Hannah’s skills and knowledge back in Horsham through playing for her local team and coaching others”
The Homeless World Cup started in 2001 and this year teams from 63 countries have been participating.
Team England for The Homeless World Cup is selected and managed by The Homeless FA whose mission is to use football to transform the lives of people experiencing homelessness.
All Homeless World Cup players have experienced homelessness or social exclusion and unlike any other England team, players are not picked according to their footballing ability, or age. Instead, players are selected with a particular focus on positive attitude, teamwork, commitment, interpersonal skills, and improved physical health.