Our St Andrew's Day Dinner guest speaker is David Duke, founder and CEO of Street Soccer Scotland, a non-profit social enterprise that uses football to help create positive change in the lives of socially disadvantaged adults and young people.
More recently David has set up Change Centre Scotland, a new social enterprise whose vision is aimed at tackling homelessness by a creating personal development and self-management centres. He works closely with Government, Athletes, Charities, Social Enterprise, and some of Scotland's leading entrepreneurs, all with the aim of improving the lives of those who face some of society’s biggest challenges.
He is a well-known face, and voice, in his sector and is recognised as an authority on sport and social change, not just in Scotland but around the world. David is a regular contributor at the international Doha Goals Forum and has been a speaker at other global events including TEDx, Beyond Sport Global Summit and SEWF. David is also Global Ambassador for the Homeless World Cup organisation, an Ambassador for Charity Quarriers, is an Advisory Board Member for UNICEF (Scotland).
We caught up with David to find out a bit more about Street Soccer Scotland and who or what inspires him and why our chosen charity, Govan H.E.L.P is a cause close to his heart.
How does it feel to be speaking at this year’s St Andrew’s Day Dinner?
I am really looking forward to the event. I have heard it’s a great night and it’s an honour to be part of it.
Tell us how Street Soccer Scotland began and what’s on the horizon?
Street Soccer was founded in 2009 with the simple idea of using football to tackle social exclusion.
Football brings people together and many of the players we support are often isolated and excluded. Our players may be experiencing a range of challenges, but by bringing people together using football and then providing additional support, it really can make a difference. We all need to be part of something.
Having just turned 10yrs old, we are now expanding our work across more regions and communities and I look forward to sharing some of our story at the St Andrew’s Day Dinner.
This year’s chosen charity Govan H.E.L.P is a cause that is close to your heart tell us a bit about the cause and why it’s so important to you?
I come from Govan and it’s is a wonderful community but is massively affected by poverty and exclusion. The work that Govan H.E.L.P does to support families and children is very inspiring, and having experienced hard times as a child myself, I know the value of projects like this. I am proud to be a supporter of Govan H.E.L.P and I’m delighted that The Marketing Society Scotland has chosen them as their charity partner for this year’s St Andrew’s Day Dinner.
If you could give your 16-year-old-self one piece of career advice, what would it be?
Don’t listen to my 16yr old self…
What are the main challenges faced by your team and how do you overcome it?
Running a charity and social enterprise has many challenges at many levels. Our delivery team do a great job in supporting people often in times of crisis which can be emotional but rewarding when people smile and find some happiness and support. Financially, it is always challenging running an organisation but also exciting being able to create new projects and enterprise activities.
There are always other challenges which are not exclusive to us, and decisions made by governments and decision makers (for example in Westminister) which directly impact on the players we support and serve.
Who or what influences you? Which living person do you most admire?
I think I am influenced by everything, things I read and people I meet. You can take something from everyone.
I am attracted to selfless people, the unseen champions making the world a better place. I’m proud to work with some of them.
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