The Street Soccer Foundation
Formed in 2015, the Street Soccer Foundation is a sport-for-change charity which uses the global no.1 sport as a catalyst to improve the lives of vulnerable and homeless young people across the country. Our nationally acclaimed flagship programme, the Street Soccer Academy, is viewed as the no.1 football-led project tackling youth homelessness in England providing a learning and development opportunity for 17-30 year olds (male and female).
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
Through our collaborative approach and partnership way of working, the Street Soccer Foundation operates nationwide, providing a service provision for vulnerable young people namely the ‘Street Soccer Academy’ programme. This programme has become the leading no.1 sport-led project tackling mental health, youth homelessness and suicide awareness. The young people we bring onto the Academy programme are those who are most typically homeless, or deemed at risk of becoming homeless – and as such, the vulnerability of the groups we support is very high, and often with several cases of those who have either attempted suicide – or who have had suicidal thoughts. By bringing these young people onto our Academy programme, we actively support and empower individuals to have a valued voice, and support them on their personal development journey with us. With mentoring support offered as a wrap-around service too, all groups coming through our programme report outcomes of greater confidence, self-belief and an enthusiasm for life they may not have had previously, before joining the programme.
What are your current priorities?
The Street Soccer Foundation is aware that the biggest killer of men under 49 is suicide – and that in the UK, approx 3/4 of all suicides are male. Our Academy programme targets males aged up to 30, and we are committed to seeing more of our programmes run nationally across the country to prevent suicide in males of this age.
What challenges are you currently facing?
As a growing and ambitious charity, our growth is both out of need as well as demand. Both to scale sustainably and meet the growing demands on our service is a current challenge.