Improving lives through football

Improving lives through football

Street League is unique in what it does because it helps support young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. We don’t just support any unemployed young people we support those who need our help the most. We work in areas with highest deprivation and with young people who have very few qualifications and significant barriers to employment. I’ve been on the Street League programme for nearly a month now and it’s really good. I feel it’s benefiting me. It’s good to work with all the different characters. I’ve never had a job or gone to college but they’ve helped me. They’ve got my confidence better and made me get out there. We see a wide mix of young people coming into the programme with some variation in their background. Some may have not had a positive experience of school, they may have been incarcerated in prison, they might have left home at an early age and become homeless, and some unfortunately have been involved in drugs and crime. But the picture someone’s past presents does not determine their future and we work to make sure that past doesn’t become a barrier to moving forward. I feel it’s more effective than what I learned at school because, in my opinion, school doesn’t teach you a lot about life. When you come to Street League, they teach you all the different things about employment, which is their main aim. And they have a good record for it. Danny will be in here for the next few weeks, already working through the qualifications. He’s doing a leadership award and employability award qualification, which is based around building their confidence. This afternoon we’re going to deliver a community event which will involve refereeing games, speaking to the children – being put out of your comfort zone to an extent. I’m using my past experience and just trying to get them to connect. Obviously there is a lot of good wee young people there and it was really good, the session they’re doing. They’re just rotating around, trying to get better and better. I feel the carrot, the football, is really important because it is developing skills that are transferable into the workplace or education. That’s their communication, their team-working skills and their ability to negotiate and compromise. The funding partners we have, like FIFA Football for Hope, are absolutely vital because without their funding Street League would not be able to operate. It also helps to build really valuable life and work skills that are needed to be successful in the workplace: things like teamwork, communication, leadership, respect for rules and authority. We make sure we’re focused on sustainable social impact.

About the Author: Garret Beatty


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