Last night the Adelphi Hotel, in the centre of Liverpool, played host to the the prestigious “Liverpool’s Night of Honour” awards ceremony. Liverpool Homeless Football Club had been nominated for Liverpool’s Best Community Organisation Award and Club Secretary and founding member Steve Barton was up for Liverpool’s Health & Wellbeing Hero Award. We are ecstatic to announce that both awards were won on a magical night.
The event was billed by presenters Hope City Enterprise as ‘the most talked about annual award ceremony of the year’ and was attended by over 700 people. Roger Davies, director of Liverpool’s Night of Honour said “Tonight we are recognising ordinary people living extraordinary lives. Tonight is a celebration of the unsung heroes of our city and the region of Merseyside.”
The event was sponsored by 2020 Decade of Health & Wellbeing and Dave Campbell Autos Limited. Throughout the evening the packed auditorium were treated to spectacular performances from the Hope City Theatre Company and winners of the ‘Liverpool’s Schools Got Talent’.
The Award for Best Community Organisation was sponsored by Rowley Szilagy Surveyors. When LHFC were announced as winners there was a huge cheer from the crowd and rapturous applause as Chairperson John Finnigan took to the stage to collect the award. John graciously thanked everyone involved with the running of the club and dedicated the award to all the homeless people.
The following category was the Liverpool’s Health & Wellbeing Award where Steve Barton faced stiff competition from nine other nominees. Steve Barton was involved in the creation of LHFC back in 2007 and has been a long term advocate of the benefits of sport for homeless people. He has worked for the Salvation Army, the YMCA and is a driving force behind the success of homeless football on Merseyside. Presenter John Adrassy congratulated Steve declaring him “A very worthy winner!”.
Steve and John were accompanied at the ceremony with LHFC Project Development Officer Ben Carpenter, club ambassadors Chris McIntyre & Craig Meddings and players Becca Mushrow & James Buckley (left). The excitement amongst the team was evident as the team posed for photographs with the awards and spoke passionately about the work that LHFC does in the community.
Becca Mushrow has recently returned from a life changing experience at the Homeless World Cup and she was full of praise for the club and how they are helping her to start a new life with a positive future “Without the support of LHFC it would be easy for me to fall back in to drugs and trouble! Now i’m putting all my energy into building a career in football coaching”. James Buckley was also happy, stating that: “I owe so much to the club. LHFC helped me to settle in my own flat and build focus in my life. I’m now playing semi-professional football and studying sports science at college. I hope to go to university next year!”
The night was incredibly special and Steve was quick to point out “This award is not for me, it’s for the club and I too would like to dedicate it to all the homeless people out there.” John elaborated; “These awards are a fantastic moment of recognition for the work we are doing but it should also be a reminder that there are many people in our city who are still suffering from homelessness and this is likely to worsen over the next year or two. I hope this award will help us to do more work in engaging the most vulnerable members of our society.”