Shelter boss to help at football world cup for homeless children

jpco-9-10-13  Charlie Arratoon who who will travel to Rio next year to volunteer at the Street Kids World Cup  (Pic by Jon Rigby)
jpco-9-10-13 Charlie Arratoon who who will travel to Rio next year to volunteer at the Street Kids World Cup (Pic by Jon Rigby)
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The deputy director of Crawley Open House homeless shelter is to jet off to Brazil to volunteer at a football world cup for homeless children.

Charlie Arratoon will travel to Rio for the Street Child World Cup next March.

The Street Child World Cup is a global movement for street children from across the world ahead of each FIFA World Cup, to play football and join an international conference.

On March 27 the 10 day tournament and conference will kick off in Rio de Janeiro.

Charlie said she was looking forward to meeting homeless children from 19 countries through a sport she was passionate about.

She said: “For me it’s just a dream trip. Young people, homelessness and football have been passions of mine for a long time.

“I found out about it in 2010 when my friend went and I thought it was remarkable so I made a pledge to myself to make sure I go to the next one so I’ve been waiting a long time. I’m very excited.”

“I’m looking forward to feeling like I’ve contributed to making a difference to change the life of street children and make people more aware of how these young people have to live.

“They take children who have been living in under ground sewers.

“And hopefully make some young people smile by being part of something that brings them some happiness.”

Despite having worked at the open house for 16 years this is the first time Charlie will have travelled abroad to take part in a project like this.

Charlie will be given a team to look after who she will accompany to the tournaments.

She admitted she was feeling nervous about the language barriers but hoped the sport would create a common ground.

She said: “I‘ve played football with street kids here and it’s rally opened lots of doors.

“I’m hoping through football I can communicate with young people from different countries. They’ll be people who have probably never even been out the country before so they’ll be quite nervous.”

Before she can take on the dream trip Charlie must raise £1,600 to cover the cost of sending a child out there.

To donate to Charlie’s cause visit: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/charliearratoon8