Green MSP meets street footballers: match and work ready

Alison Johnstone, Lothian MSP and Scottish Green Party Spokesperson on Health, Wellbeing and Sport, joined two groups of young people from Street League Edinburgh as they had a “friendly” match at Spartans Community Football Ground.

The young people have been taking part in Street League’s employability and personal development programmes over the last few months.   Today’s match was an “end of season” game for the young people before they embark on a work experience programme next week.

Street League runs several Street Football sessions across Edinburgh and the Lothians. These sessions, open to any young person not in employment, education or training, take place at least once a week and provide an opportunity for any young person to come along, socialise, play some football and meet support staff who can support them to get the skills and confidence they need for employment.

A spokesperson from Street League said “Football ability is not what we are focusing on, we are looking for young people who have made the decision to make a change in their life. It’s about joining in, making friends and finding out how Street League works.

“Then, our staff will discuss the Street League Academy programmes, and how these interventions can help develop the key skills which help young people find sustainable employment, education or further training.

“So far this financial year, the Edinburgh team have supported over 190 young people into employment, education and training. These impressive results have helped contribute to Street League’s wider impact across Scotland of supporting over 1000 young people into a positive destination”.

Alison Johnstone said “I have always believed in the power of sport for so much more than fitness: it teaches teamwork, self-discipline, focus and it’s fun. It’s wonderful to see how Street League are using the power of football to get young people the skills they need for work.”