Street Soccer FC launches with £238,000 grant from STV Appeal

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Street Soccer FC has launched in four of Scotland’s most socially deprived areas with a grant of over £238,000 from the STV Appeal.
Famous football faces Bobby Russell, Allan Preston, Paul Kane and Ally Dawson gathered in Edinburgh to officially launch the initiative which will provide free community football programmes to children and young people from areas of high deprivation.
Street Soccer FC is a unique programme newly developed through the partnership between Street Soccer Scotland and the STV Appeal.  It aims to deliver the initiative in four of the most socially deprived areas in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen. Street Soccer FC will be delivered and supported by participants from Street Soccer Scotland and graduates from its ‘Football Works’ Personal Development Courses.
Street Soccer Scotland is a non-profit social enterprise which delivers a range of football related services to socially disadvantaged adults and young people across Scotland.
Street Soccer FC will benefit from over £238,000 funding from the STV Appeal which raises money for children in Scotland affected by poverty.
One in five children in Scotland lives in poverty - a shocking 220,000 children across the country. So far the STV Appeal has raised over £5.6 million with 198 big and small grants distributed to projects across all 32 local authority areas in Scotland, providing much needed support to over 29,000 children.
Now in its fourth year, the STV Appeal is determined to make an even bigger difference in the lives of children and young people living in poverty in Scotland. The money raised is distributed to provide practical help like food and warm clothes; create opportunities for training and employability; and enable social and emotional support for those who need it most.
The STV Appeal was launched in 2011 by The Hunter Foundation and STV.  In 2013, the Wood Family Trust pledged its support to The STV Appeal for projects in the North East.
Elizabeth Partyka of the STV Appeal, said: “The long term aim of the STV Appeal is to tackle both the causes and effects of poverty and disadvantage and create long-term, sustainable change in the lives of Scotland’s most at-risk children and young people. Street Soccer FC is a fantastic project to be involved with as it engages with kids in Scotland’s most deprived areas. The ethos behind the initiative really resonates with the aims of the Appeal as this grant will help to stimulate learning and positive change.”
David Duke, founder and chief executive of Street Soccer Scotland, said: “Street Soccer FC is a new, simple ‘football for all’ programme that will see free football sessions and activities being provided to children and young people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds and areas of high deprivation in our four biggest cities - Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.  Our long term aim is for Street Soccer FC to become self-sustaining by being embraced and supported by the whole community with ownership of the project eventually passing over to the community themselves. 
“We know that the young people will benefit from the breaking down of social barriers and there will be a positive impact on their health and wellbeing but there are real benefits to the community too.  Street Soccer FC will help in the battle with some of the direct impacts of child poverty and help tackle instances of anti-social behaviour by providing a safe and friendly environment for children and young people to meet, and make new, friends.
“With the backing and partnership of The STV Appeal we can quickly roll out Street Soccer FC and, as we look well into the future, we are hopeful that by reaching young people now we’ll see fewer of them attending other Street Soccer Scotland projects in their later lives.  Without The STV Appeal’s investment and support Street Soccer FC would have taken longer to become a reality.”
Garreth Wood, Trustee of the Wood Family Trust: “2014 is a big year for sport in Scotland as Glasgow play host to the Commonwealth Games; an event likely to attract an incredible amount of attention and positive energy from across the country. The Wood Family Trust are proud to be able to support the STV Appeal and it is heartening to engage with initiatives such as Street Soccer Scotland that are proving to be invaluable in empowering young people affected by social exclusion to make positive changes in their lives. Fitness and exercise are great ways to inspire young people towards developing life-skills, encourage team work, and meet new people in a healthy, safe environment. We are confident that this programme will make a huge difference to the lives of young people across Scotland who are enthusiastic about creating a positive, bright future for themselves.”
The STV Appeal 2014 is now well underway with an exciting line-up of fundraising activities planned for the year ahead.