Our Guardians: Jack Badu
“Being a Lowe guardian is an unbelievable opportunity for me to make a positive change…”
London-born Jack Badu has been a guardian with us since February, living in a former pub in Battersea. We love hearing about all the wonderful things our guardians are up to, so it was great to sit down and chat to him this week about the current charity work he is involved in with Centrepoint and the Homeless World Cup.
Jack started volunteering with the Homeless FA 5 years ago, an organisation which aims to use football as a means of improving the lives of socially excluded people. He is now head coach of the England women’s team at the Homeless World Cup which is currently taking place in Cardiff, hosting more than 500 players representing over 50 countries, all of which have faced homelessness and social marginalisation. The Homeless World Cup is the product of a six-month self-improvement and educational course run by the charity Centrepoint and works with premier league clubs such as Arsenal and Chelsea, where Jack does weekly sessions with the clients at risk of homelessness.
In addition to this, Jack has been involved in many other projects over the years that often use football and sport as a way of bringing the community together and helping to resolve prominent issues in society, such as homophobia and accessible education. We began to discuss his work on the ‘Football Tango Project’, a great programme which brings two very different sports together. Ray Bachelor of Queer Tango London developed and led this project whilst Jack led on the tango-based football practice drills! At the end of the sessions, they would address the impact of homophobia in football and reflect on ways of improving its presence in the sport, helping players overcome the issues of homophobia through tango. ‘Tackling homophobia through Tango for better football.’ He has also worked with the organisation ‘Football Beyond Borders’, an education charity that uses football as an engagement tool to provide young people with the opportunity to achieve their goals and fulfil their potential, and the Black Prince Community Hub which aims to offer first-class sports and education facilities to the local community and schools. All of these projects are so important in our current society and it is essential that we continue to facilitate these programmes and support people like Jack so that they can do what they do.
Jack says “Being a Lowe guardian is an unbelievable opportunity for me to make a positive change in my local community. I would never be able to do what I do and live in the centre of London. We need more initiatives like this to support young adults and community groups trying to make a positive change.” Prior to moving to Battersea, Jack was living in a flat in East Dulwich, but working in Vauxhall. Many people often see working and living in Central London as unattainable with the rise in rent prices, however, this is a prime example of where we can help to unlock aspirations through affordable housing.
Initially reluctant to live with 10 people, our community and guardian manager Vicci convinced him to give it a go and it seems he has not looked back since, saying that the community environment and family feel living in the former pub has been a great experience. As well as being in an ideal location for work, the affordability of our guardianships he believes has meant that he can do more whilst working and enjoy life just that bit more.