The social enterprise and charity Street Soccer Scotland, which provides hope and opportunity to socially disadvantaged people living in poverty through the medium of football, has been given £25,000 by players of People's Postcode Lottery.
The award was given in recognition of the inspirational leadership by the founder and Chief Executive of the organisation, David Duke MBE. He was recently presented with the award at one of the charity's training sessions in Portobello by trustees of the organisation, Claire MacDonald and Judy Hills.
David founded Street Soccer Scotland in 2009 after he experienced first-hand the transformative power of the beautiful game. Following the death of his father when David was just 21, he was left homeless and lived in various hostels in Glasgow for three years. He then saw an advert for trials for the 2004 Homeless World Cup. David credits this as the catalyst for positive change in his life.
For the first time in a long time, David found he had a purpose and a community of people around him. Returning from the tournament, he got involved in coaching and went to college to train as a community support worker.
In 2009, David received a First Port start-up grant of £3,000. He left his job and moved from Glasgow to Edinburgh so he could use football to inspire others in the same way it had him.
Street Soccer Scotland provides an inclusive space for some of society's most vulnerable to participate in football. This includes individuals who are homeless, dealing with addiction and those with additional support needs. It aims to mimic David's journey and inspire players to be the best they can be both on and off the pitch, and in doing so it provides them with hope and purpose whilst increasing their self-esteem.
Many of the coaches at the charity have been through the programme themselves and through these shared experiences they're able to nurture players by building meaningful relationships based on trust. It is a winning tactic that is working wonders. Recent research commissioned by the charity demonstrated that for every £1 Street Soccer Scotland spend there is a return of almost £10 in terms of the social benefit to the individuals supported and the wider community.
David expressed his gratitude for the support Street Soccer Scotland has received from players of People's Postcode Lottery. He said, "I would like to thank the Postcode Community Trust and players of the People's Postcode Lottery for their continued and much-valued support. This funding - along with previous awards - has provided a huge boost to Street Soccer Scotland. The grant will allow us to continue to push forward a number of projects which will have a real, positive impact on many of the most vulnerable and socially disadvantaged people in our communities."
Clara Govier, Managing Director at People's Postcode Lottery, said, "David is a remarkable leader who truly lives his vision by inspiring players to acknowledge their value and unlock their potential. I'm incredibly proud players of People's Postcode Lottery are supporting Street Soccer Scotland and recognising David's outstanding contribution to society and the third sector."