Update from David Duke, Founder and CEO.

The past week has been tough. Not just for the team and players at Street Soccer but for everyone in Scotland and around the world.

The past week has been tough. Not just for the team and players at Street Soccer but for everyone in Scotland and around the world.

On Friday, after consultation with our team and board, we decided to postpone all Street Soccer programmes following the latest recommendations and statement from the SFA.

With the heaviest of hearts, I had to create a statement to notify that this would be happening. (You can read this statement here.)

I found it extremely tough to write, as I wasn’t sure it was the best answer for our players in order to protect their well-being and health. I am under no illusion that the current pandemic and implications of Coronavirus poses a huge health risk for people, especially those who are more vulnerable due to health conditions and age.

The reason for the doubt, was that personally, I feel that no support, isolation and lack of connection may carry an even greater health risk for some people.

At a time of uncertainty, panic and fear, this is when our players need us most, in fact, it is when we ALL need each other most. The lack of control in our lives we face just now, can lead to increased anxiety which for some of us is very dangerous (myself included)

In 2009 when we set up Street Soccer, it was never just about football, far from it. All we wanted to do was create a ‘place to belong’, some structure, some support and to provide anyone who needed it, something to be part of.

So the current situation is challenging, but what are we going to do about it……

Here are 10 things we are doing so far…….

  • Staff Welfare – We have asked Heather and Andy in our team (we are only small so don’t have a HR role) to make sure all staff are safe and healthy, feel secure at a time of unrest and supported in their current roles.
  • Player Welfare – Lead by our Head of Programmes, All of our front line teams are currently contacting players through a variety of channels, to provide advice, comfort and support and identify any issues or risks associated with the current situation. We are providing regular catch up calls/video calls, one2one outdoor catch ups where possible, and currently preparing support packages and resource to support our most vulnerable players.
  • Progress Reports – Daily Updates to be shared across the team on internal progress, key info gathered from players and sharing best practice.
  • Communications – Preparing regular detailed updates for staff, players, supporters and partners.
  • Future Thinking (But just a little) – We realise that what is happening in the economy will no doubt have a huge impact in our sector and our income, with things such as corporate sponsorship at risk. So there is a plan coming, but not today as we need to focus on supporting our players and people NOW.
  • Collaborating – We are speaking to our friends and partners to see how we can use our combined resource and skills to support each other making a difference at this challenging time and think of innovative and practical ways we can help our players and partners now.
  • Learning – We appointed a team member to focus on what else is happening across our sector, looking for best practice and innovation from others which might relevant to helping our own mission and our core charitable principles.
  • Listening – We will be continuing to follow the guidance of World Health Org and Scottish Government when implementing new changes to how we operate.
  • Keeping Calm – It’s a difficult time and it can feel scary in fact. But we need to be calm in our approach to everything (easier said than done, but hey, we’re optimists!)
  • Being Responsible – We will make sure everything we do, for our players, our team and others is responsible and always, ALWAYS in the best interests of others.

No doubt, this is an ongoing, ever changing crisis in which we all find ourselves. We will remain flexible in our approach to all of the above and could myself or our team, be of any support to anyone out there, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Keep Safe, Keep Believing

David Duke

Founder & CEO – Street Soccer Scotland