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COMMUNITY HERO: HUDDERSFIELD

15 December 2016

Street Life Soccer participant to be guest of honour on Friday

NORWICH City Football Club are delighted to welcome James Earley as the Club's Kare Plus Community Hero for Friday evening's game against Huddersfield Town.

James, 34, was once homeless but has been a part of the Street Life Soccer (SLS) programme for eight years and recently got the chance to be captain for England Street FA.  
 
The Street Life Soccer Project was launched in August 2007 and engages homeless, vulnerable and vulnerably housed people through sport.

The project is run by and supported by the Community Sports Foundation (CSF) and is now funded by BT Supporters Club and Premier League Works.  
 
The programme also provides a chance for everyone involved to learn new skills and to gain qualifications for further education and employment.  

"I was homeless before I was involved in the project but I have now sorted my life out," James told canaries.co.uk.

"It was the support of the Street Life Soccer programme that got me through. The lads encouraged me to keep strong and they supported me."
 
Everyone involved has the opportunity to set goals for themselves and the programme, and the support from CSF helps participants achieve them.

"My confidence has been built up so much that last month I stood up and spoke about my life and the progress I’ve made in front of an audience of people," added James. 
 
CSF’s SLS rep team has tournaments and games throughout the year against rep teams from other clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and QPR.

England Street FA takes part in the Homeless World Cup and often has games against other nations around the world.

"I was recently selected to represent England at St George’s Park as part of the Street Football England Team and took part in the European Street Football Festival in Manchester," he explained.

"I was so happy to be captain of my team against France and I met a lot of great people when I was there. I loved every single bit about it and training at St George’s Park was great.

"Street Life Soccer means a lot to me as my life is finally back on track and I am feeling happy, motivated and positive about my future. It makes me very happy to be Community Hero."
 
SLS is a CSF programme which delivers regular sessions at Carrow Park, Dereham, Great Yarmouth and HMS Norwich prison.

CSF design and deliver the programme to ensure that people who have the greatest need for the programme have access to it.

At every Sky Bet Championship home match, the Canaries will invite a deserving community-minded individual or individuals to be their Kare Plus Community Hero and place the matchball on a special plinth prior to kick-off. 

Whether the individual works in the emergency services or the armed forces, is a carer or charity champion, a super fan or a regional sporting hero, the initiative celebrates their contribution to the local community. 

If there is anyone you think deserves special recognition for their community efforts or personal achievements, please contact the Club via communityhero@canaries.co.uk.



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