Genesis Football

Genesis Football is a Community Football project specifically working with the marginalised. Please check out the video below:

Genesis Football is all about new beginnings. It’s a place where people who have found themselves in the depressing cycles of unemployment, homelessness and addiction can come. Football is the draw but also the tool, as many situations arise throughout training and matches that can be used to challenge negative behaviour and reinforce good character. We aim to support players in setting goals to become the best they can be whilst encouraging and acknowledging every small progression along the way. For many, Genesis is the place they make new friends, explore faith, find structure and discover opportunities to progress. The goal is more than to find employment or education; it is to develop as a person, family member and member of society. Each year we see people turn their lives around by confronting addictions, rejecting crime and finding employment as they realise the potential within them.

The Genesis project in Whitechapel started in 2008 born out of a partnership between Good Shepherd Mission, Booth House Salvation Army hostel and the Whitechapel Mission. It has reached over 300 men, many of whom were sleeping rough when they first joined the project. We provide kit to train in, a hot meal afterwards, mentoring and for those who would like a chance to explore the Bible as we look at how to live in the right way. Since 2008 we have seen some amazing transformations, this year we have had 12 players achieve qualifications whilst part of the team and several go on to employment.

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This is what participants have been saying about the programme:

“It’s given me a sense of purpose, it’s helped me get to know people. On the Street you can feel lonely, I come to play football but also love to see everyone. I’ve made some good friends, having lunch together after playing can feel like a family occasion.

The discussions are great, they’ve opened my eyes to live in the right way. It’s a breath of fresh air, I was disrespecting myself really. I was into extreme heavy drinking before, I don’t smoke half as much now either. It’s helpful having people believe in you.” Dave, Genesis Player

“I’ve been off heroin now for 63 days, having things to do like the football project has really helped me to keep my mind of it. I don’t just feel physically healthy but the discussions have helped me deal with guilt and learning to forgive myself. It’s helped me to realise I don’t need to be feel guilty or embarrassed because it’s all in the past because I’m looking to the future.” Mike, Genesis Player

For further information on how to get involved with Genesis, sponsor the project or please contact Dan Owen on