Street Soccer Scotland joins forces with QMU to promote social justice and health improvement

By Press Office

Charity and social enterprise Street Soccer Scotland and Queen Margaret University (QMU) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to support the cause of social justice and health improvement though research and collaborative projects across the university’s flagship areas of expertise in health and rehabilitation, sustainable business and creativity and culture.

The agreement was signed by Dr Richard Butt, Deputy Principal at Queen Margaret University and Street Soccer Scotland’s founder and chief executive, David Duke.

Street Soccer Scotland uses football as a medium to deliver further training and personal development, empowering people who are affected by social exclusion to make positive changes in their lives. The new partnership will pave the way for the charity to work together with academics and students at QMU to improve the lives of those who are marginalized or excluded from community in a sustainable manner. It recognises the mutually beneficial impact of educational programmes and activities linked to widening access, improving health, and increasing social inclusion throughout Scotland.

Students and academics across different specialisms including occupational health, physiotherapy, film making and psychology will have the option to share their knowledge and gain valuable understanding through volunteering and research projects.

Fiona O’May, Research Fellow in the School of Health Sciences said: “This agreement sets out a framework for my academic colleagues and students of all disciplines to learn from, and contribute to, one of Scotland’s most outstanding charities working to combat social exclusion caused by poverty, homelessness, mental health problems and addiction.  There is a natural fit between Street Soccer Scotland’s aims and QMU’s areas of expertise and our partnership will provide many mutually beneficial opportunities as we work together to develop shared goals that meet the aspirations of socially disadvantaged adults and young people.

“Having evaluated the Street Soccer Football Works Academy and some of the charity’s other projects, we already have evidence of the positive impact such interventions can make to the lives of individual participants.  As well as our allied health students and academics, the MoU opens up opportunities for Business students to gain first-hand experience of a social enterprise, and our experts in planned events at QMU will be able to examine motivation among participants, providing key information for innovation across the charity’s services.”

David Duke of Street Soccer Scotland said: “We are delighted to expand our relationship with Queen Margaret University. QMU students and academics across a range of specialisms will provide us with unique insight from academia, on the ground support through volunteering and will deliver robust evaluation on our work, highlighting the power of sport to tackle social exclusion. Street Soccer Scotland has worked alongside QMU since 2010 and we are delighted to announce our new partnership.”



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