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JOE'S INSPIRING JOURNEY WITH AITC

10 June 2014


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Joe Lidster is one of Albion in the Community’s many success stories over the last 12 months.

The 33 year-old from Brighton took part in the AITC Homeless FA Training Centre in May 2013 after having been living on the streets and in hostels around Brighton for several years after moving to the city from Manchester.

The Homeless FA project is run at nine football clubs across the country to help people from homeless backgrounds with a five-week football and personal development programme.

After taking part in the centre in 2013 he said; “The programme was amazing for me. I’d always had a problem meeting new people and being in groups but I really came out of my shell during the course.
“When you come from a background of homelessness you tend to feel excluded and an outcast from society. To be made to feel so welcome by AITC, the football club and be able to use the stadium really made a difference to me.”
 
Fast-forward 12 months on and Joe’s situation is very different. Shortly after taking part in the AITC programme he was selected to represent England by the Homeless FA and earlier this year was also chosen by them to be a peer mentor for this year’s programme at the Amex.
 
Joe told seagulls.co.uk; “It was a really nice surprise to be asked to be a peer mentor by the Homeless FA. We acted as intermediaries between the staff from AITC and the guys on the programme giving them encouragement when they needed it. I was able to tell them about my own background of homelessness and what the project had done for me and I think that really helped.”
 
More recently Joe has taken up a volunteer role with AITC on the Albion Goals project, which helps disengaged young men back into employment and education through football.
 
“It is great to now be volunteering for AITC. I want to use my experience and the things that I have been through in a positive way to help other people in similar situations.”

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