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The OSS is working with Street Soccer Scotland (SSS) and Edinburgh Napier University on a three-year research project that will monitor and analyse the work of the charity in deprived communities.

Founded in 2009, SSS is a social enterprise which uses football-inspired training and personal development as a medium to empower people who are affected by social exclusion, to make positive changes in their lives. The staff work across Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow and the charity has taken over the management of a community facility in Dundee, and will seek to engage people and families affected by drug and alcohol abuse, and criminal backgrounds.

David Duke, Managing Director of the , said: “Since 2009 we have harnessed the power of sport to create lasting change in the lives of thousands of adults and young people across Scotland. Many of our players have experienced homelessness, mental health, addiction or have been involved in the criminal justice system. Often people’s challenges are complex, but the solution isn’t.

“Creating access to sport allows connections and relationships to be formed as well as provide support networks, all of which are needed to move forward. We also use the platform of sport to connect people with additional services they may need.

“We have developed a good partnership with the Observatory for Sport who will help us to properly monitor how we do that and bring scientific research to understanding how it changes behaviour, where it doesn’t, and how we adapt what we do to sustain the life changes and improve not just whole families but whole communities.”

OSS CEO David Ferguson explained: “The OSS brings together partners using sport to improve lives, linking researchers with policy and practice that has tangible impact on the ground, and this is a very exciting project. We will help the Street Soccer team and people they engage with to understand how and where their programmes have an impact, where they don’t and why, and how their work can continue to change behaviour in people and communities.

“It will be ongoing active research that reports back regularly, and we hope that it will help tackle challenges of poverty that affect all ages in this community and provide quality evidence that will help to inform national and local organisations across Scotland.”

We are currently seeking sponsorship of this research. If you would like to support this valuable work, please contact us: david@oss.scot.

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