Tyrone Mings: This is why Aston Villa and England defender was seen in Sheffield this week
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Instead, the Premier League star joined forces with Villa fan Prince William, to help in the prince’s five year plan to try to tackle homlessness, with Sheffield one of six cities taking part in a project run by his UK wide homelessness programme Homewards.
Tyrone has become an ambassador for the project, having revealed in the past how growing up in a homeless shelter helped turn him into the man he is today. While at primary school, he was forced to live in a homeless shelter with his mum, and three sisters for one year.
Yesterday, he was with Prince William visiting Reach Up Youth, a project run from the Verdon Centre, in Burngreave. It’s work includes stepping in early to prevent young people becoming homeless. Although there was no football, Tyrone did pick up a basketball to shoot some hoops along with the Prince of Wales, in the venue’s gym.
He said of the visit and the work the project was doing to deal with homelessness: “Coming here and seeing people who are doing work like this is hopefully going to shine a light on what is going to be the biggest issue, I think, to overcome first.”
He said he hoped that he could make a difference in the five year time scale of the Homewards project. He said: “It’s going to be difficult but I don’t think any of us would have joined, and Prince William certainly wouldn’t be doing it, if he didn’t think it was achievable.
“I think it’s really good to understand the people who are homeless and how they got to become that, and what could have been done to prevent it.
“A lot of the time, we may have a cynical view, that if somebody is homeless then they must have either chosen to be in that situation or have done something to mean that they’re now homeless, but really, I think there are so many different ways that they can find themselves in some sort of unfavourable situations, and it’s about getting to those people and understanding what we can do slightly earlier.”