THE EVE OF the much anticipated Greater Sylhet Cup at Mabley Green in Hackney we took to our soup kitchen with homeless friends at Stratford City.
People who see them
Think the homeless have no shame
What they don’t realise
Is they are hardly to blame
© Emdad Rahman
I have the good fortune of managing these boys again this year and I was joined by team captain Abdul Wahid – with a bunch of awesome nephews in tow. The captain led by example and this has inspired lots of others already. This is the greatest benefit in volunteering – you can enjoy doing something and at the same time influence others massively.
My neighbour works at the Royal London Hospital as an NHS manager, and he and the missus provided some delicious Biriani. In fact the food was so popular that it was all gone in 19 minutes, and we had to share the last container between two homeless friends.
One thing abut our Beanibazar team is the focus we have on community issues. For two years running we have welcomed the Beanibazar Cancer Hospital as a charity partner, using the Barcelona ethos to raise funds for this fantastic project. Just a it is at the Catalan giants’ charity, active citizenship is key within our squad. There are at least half a dozen squad members who are seriously active in our community – carrying out a number of roles which include supporting the elderly, those who are disabled and people affected by poverty.
The kids seemed to enjoy the experience and will appreciate the efforts of the adults in future years. I could tell that the interaction with fellow humans who have no home left them all thinking about their own lives, and one told me how privileged he was in comparison to the people he served. Billy and Paul were their usual lively selves, but there was no Amanda or Rosie today.
The number of families affected by homelessness is expected to more than double in the next two decades, with a further 200,000 households affected by 2041. The numbers of those who are sleeping rough will soar fourfold to more than 40,000 in the same period, according to research by Heriot-Watt University, commissioned by Crisis, the homelessness charity.
Whatever was going to happen at the Greater Sylhet Cup the following day would pale into insignificance when you take stock of the situation and how worse off our fellow citizens are. I thought to myself that if we win it I’ll bring the trophy to the next soup kitchen and pose with my mates there. If we don’t, our work here continues regardless, and I’ll have to do it next year.
The Greater Sylhet Cup was due to take place at Mabley Green the next day. The ususal big boys were favourites, but my insight from refereeing some friendlies told me that Biswanath and Chattak were dark horses and serious contenders.
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