The Stars come out again

On the 10th of October 2011,we will be hosting the Oxford Social Inclusion Cup(OSIC) an annual football tournament which aims to raise awareness of the issues of marginalised members of our community and especially the people who find themselves HOMELESS.

Crisis recently released a report, a further effort, to understand this much used and misconstrued expression to describe someone who for one reason or another finds themselves without a stable, permanent HOME of their own.

I found myself looking into a cloudless sky last night, in awe of the brightness and beauty of the stars.

It made me reflect on the OSIC event and how we now know that on that day we can celebrate the rising stars on the field, the shooting stars off the field who have helped in various ways along the journey.

Also the many stars that have faded and died along the way, too many to mention individually and not always noticed.

Q. How many people are considered HOMELESS in the UK?

A. How many stars in the night sky?

Some are really obvious and bright and noticeable, others hidden on friends sofas and in squats, in police and prison cells for somewhere safe and warm to stay. In strangers homes for motives not so pure….

Some are now well used to keeping out of the public eye, and like it that way, sleeping in places not really fit for purpose, but away from prying eyes.

No one star is better than the other, no situation a homeless person finds themselves in worse than the next.

It’s all WRONG and not justifiable.

On the 10/10/11 we are aiming under the theme of #morethanwords to use our tournament to kick out the words people use for OUR stars and hope you join us in person or in spirit.

The hidden stars need to come out, we need to celebrate the shooting stars on there way up, and encourage others to aim for the stars.



From Scoring to Scoring!!!

Hi my name is Darren Lavin,

I have been involved with streets revolution since it started in April 2010.I was living in a hostel in town which was hard as I had nothing to do except get into trouble .I met up with Jon when he started coaching for Lucy Faithful House on a Monday.

Now I’ve made it through the Trials for the England Homeless World cup team.

I’ve lived on and off on the streets of Oxford for 10 years, blighted by a “mixture of drink, drugs and some time in prison”.

But now I have turned my life around. It’s only taken me 30 years.

I have been playing football most of my life, but the past few years have been very up and down.

It is every schoolboy’s dream to play football for their country.

But for me, it’s not about getting into the final(England Homeless World Cup Team) but it is about helping all the other lads.

Some of them really benefit from schemes like this. I’ve been there and I know what it’s like.

Streets Revolution Participant - Darren Lavin

We started the first drop in with 6 people, which has grown in leaps and bounds. We have a varied group of people who attend the drop in including homeless, asylum seekers and people with mental health issues.

The drop in is one of the best things that is going on in Oxford at the moment which is bringing people from all backgrounds under the streets revolution banner. We are one big family at Streets Revolution. We have now just started a new drop in at Northway Community Centre which is fitness based but also offers football. That runs on a Monday from 3.30 to 5.30pm.

Streets Revolution have also helped me gain my level  1 FA coaching badge and now I am waiting to start my level 2 soon. I help out with the training sessions and I am on the committee. Just recently our coach Andy Bone has offered to let me take over his other under nines team which I am looking forward to also.

I have also been involved with the Homeless World Cup which involved doing a sponsored walk last July with Jon to raise money so they could assist teams to get to the world cup in Brazil. This year is a bit different as I have taken part in the trials in oxford which I have made it to the next stage at Man U’s training ground.

'The Road to Rio' Sponsored event last year

Well that’s your lot and VIVA LA REVOLUTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Batman a new type of superhero !!

Hi, my name is Adrian and my nickname is Batman and i have been asked to write this blog, because i have been involved in Streets Revolution from the beginning. I have been involved in Streets Revolution from the beginning. A bit about me; I have been homeless one and off for about 5 years, when I started Streets Revolution I was taking drugs on a daily basis from cannabis to heroin. Why? Well actually I felt it was how I was forgetting about all my problems and a way of escaping. But, I was always into my football way back when I used to play Northway boys, from the age of 5 I got my first ever football kit which was a blue and white Manchester United kit.

So even though I was homeless and using drugs I still got a buzz from kicking a ball around with my mates. So when Jon Regler (Chairman) came along to the hostel and started coaching the team at Lucy Faithfull, I was well up for it and as time passed we spoke about more football and starting a new team for everyone who felt like me.

The Revolutionaries with ( Captain Adrian ) left in the top row

Streets Revolution has helped me in so many ways, it has helped me move from, a dark place to see a more positive image of myself. Since the beginning I have been involved in the committee meetings and have had a voice into how it runs and what we do. It’s probably the first time that I have been a part of something.

Football is great I get so much out of it, I feel totally different like I am a Superstar. I’ve got fitter and I think I have become a better footballer, some might argue, but generally it makes me feel happy knowing I have moved forward from that dark place.

Hopes for the future include me doing my FA Coaching badges, taking the training and maybe being paid to coach in Streets Revolution and beyond. My fitness is improving but still more to improve. I have been clean and off drugs for 3 months and this is partly due to Streets Revolution (Thank you!) I’m working with Streets Revolution to help me in other areas in life, including rebuilding my relationship with my children.

Thanks for reading and if you have any comments feel free to get in touch.

April…….. And then there was 12!!!

April Blog

And then there were 12….

Well we had an idea, but still needed to put meat on the bones as they say, i got in touch with George Parolalista and the George Alexander Group, a day spent in Brighton was very productive and George definitely put me straight on what was needed,the plan was formed and the transition form idea to reality was formed.
The next part of the journey began on 8th april 2010 ,when a meeting was arranged to see who was interested in talking about starting this organisation as we now know as ‘Streets revolution’, despite the fact that it wasn’t held in the pub, we had 12 people and myself turn up and out of those 7 were homeless guys from various shelters and hostels, now that was a shock, even more shocking was the fact that project workers, and staff also turned up as well as John Armstrong( Oxford Utd) and Owain Prosser ( Oxfordshire FA) county development officer, which meant that we had a good strong mix of football people, workers and most importantly involvement and input from those that matter.

The relief on my face was clear and lots of talking got under way, by the end of the meeting we had a chairman,treasurer and 2 secretaries and others ready to start a drop in football session in 5 days(yes we were counting our chickens), but we like to call it a leap of faith (note to self about hope and positivity).

So they we are formed and raring to go, the pitch was booked thanks to John and Jon, i know its confusing, made easier by the lack of a moustache on one.

The following takes place between 4pm and 5pm…..

Tuesday April 13th- now looking back this was obviously not a date you want to start to conquer the world, but we were blindly ignorant of the fact and so gung-ho it didn’t matter.

The coach (Andy Bone) was booked and footballs and bibs, cones and all that one needs to play football were all ready except one important thing …………players?
Would anyone show up we had spent hours on the phone and putting up flyers and posters, but well by definition you can never be sure that’s the pro’s and con’s of running a drop in, you don’t have to attend.

3.55 still no one Justin Andrewes was there and so was Andy Bone the coach…..
4.00 one friendly face appears in the distance
4.05 3 more and now we almost have a 5 side team
4.10 3 more and a fellow with a dog(we better not count him)
4.15 and one more arrives so now we have 8

Not bad a few turn up late and we have a great session all took part and gave it there best put through there paces by Andy, clearly not used to the drills, but loads of smiles and lads coming together to play football.

All in all a very good start and this was clearly going to work if they all come back.

In the Beginning ……

The true revolutionary is guided by love. It is impossible to think of a true revolutionary lacking this” – Che Guevara.

I can’t think of anywhere else to start but the beginning…….

I’m writing a blog as that seems to be the done thing these days since carrier pigeons went out of fashion. As we are already on Facebook and Twitter we thought we would do a blog to get a hat trick (many more football related puns to come). Let me introduce you to Jon Regler (that me!!), the founder of our organisation (the dude in the picture with the moustache)

It all started with a passion for football and a desire to make a difference both of which I have. I attended the Homeless World Cup in Milan in 2009 and worked there as a volunteer. I returned with inspiration thinking as the Homeless World Cup has said “a ball can change the world” So why can’t a ball change Oxford?

Already a football coach, I searched for a local homelessness project that i could get involved with. I was lucky to find Lucy Faithful House ( a supported housing project for homeless people provided by Two Saints) and began to assist them in coaching a football session once a week. During that time a couple of questions kept popping up from the players. “Why can’t we play more football?” and “what can we do the rest of the time after the football has finished?”

I began to dream that maybe he could start an organisation that would answer these questions.

Fed up with calling it ‘I have a dream’ or ‘that thing I want to do with football and adults that are marginalised in the county blah blah blah…..’ we had to think of a name. So at 2 am in the morning (when all great ideas come about) Becca and I (that’s me the “blogger”) came up with a few suggestions. Here are some of those that in a Britain’s Got Talent sort of manner got the red buzzer treatment…….. Balls to Homelessness (too rude)…..The Big Issue (already taken)…Bend it like a beggar (so politically incorrect which rather defeats the object)….. as you can tell we didn’t work well at 2am in the morning and our waste paper bin was very full. We learnt from our naming session that was reminiscent of Gynneth Paltrow like (who names their child after an apple anyway!) and started thinking again the next morning. We liked Streets United it combined both football and homelessness brilliant! until you type it into google and realise that every Tom, Dick and Harry thought of that way before us. So after a couple of weeks of running around telling everyone its Streets United it dawned on us we are trying to inspire change so whats the biggest kind of change there is …… a revolution. This brought us to the word “revolution” (from the Latin revolutio, “a turn around”) defined as “to bring about a change”.

So now we had a name time to focus our attention on starting the organisation and so the story continues….