Street Soccer Scotland wins regional stage of Barclays’ Entrepreneur Awards
Street Soccer Scotland has received the accolade in the Social Entrepreneur of the Year category of the Barclays’ Entrepreneur Awards, which seeks to recognise a company that is delivering transformative social or environmental change.
Street Soccer Scotland works with young people and adults in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, using the power of football to inspire people to have better lives. Targeting key groups including women, schools, and prisons, Street Soccer Scotland addresses intractable social issues like homelessness, mental health, and long term unemployment. It delivers over 20,000 player visits each year.
The organisation was set up in 2009 by David Duke MBE who wanted to use football as a tool to address homelessness, which he had experienced personally. Starting with a bag of footballs he grew the organisation into one which now supports over 1500 young people and adults and delivers over 20,000 player visits each year. The organisation has expanded to include Street Soccer London, founded earlier this year.
Street Soccer Scotland works with the Scottish Government through the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group and via the Social Innovation Partnership.
David Duke MBE, founder and CEO, Street Soccer Scotland, said: “We are delighted to accept this award with gratitude in recognition of the commitment, innovation and efforts of many. Our staff and volunteer team work tirelessly to help create positive change for others, and 2020 has proved to be our most challenging but most innovative year so far.
“We faced some big decisions when COVID-19 arrived but made some bold decisions and changes, with our players well-being at the heart of them. This allowed us to continue offering, support, friendship and connection to those who need it. Creating any sort of change is truly a team effort, and this award should also recognise our community partners, funders and supporters.”
Juliet Rogan, national head of high growth at Barclays, added: “It’s been a difficult time for businesses due to the coronavirus outbreak, which is why it’s more important than ever we celebrate entrepreneurs and recognise their achievements.
“The awards are a celebration of the exceptional innovation and leadership entrepreneurs show, helping to create social change and growth. This is the fifth year of the awards and as a regional winner Street Soccer Scotland will go forward to the national stage, which will recognise businesses from across the UK.”
All regional winners will now go through to the national final, where an overall winner will be announced on November 26.
Ahead of the final, judging will take place with key industry leaders, influencers and eco-system partners in order to select the eventual winner.