Final Whistle for Homeless World Cup Legacy Project
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Final Whistle for Homeless World Cup Legacy Project

25/08/2017

​​Last night, 98 Homeless World Cup Legacy Project volunteers gathered in Glasgow City Halls to celebrate the final whistle in their volunteer programme with Glasgow Life. 

The volunteers joined the project last summer when they began working on the 2016 Homeless World Cup in Glasgow’s George Square. Thanks to National Lottery funding from The Big Lottery Fund, Glasgow Life offered a Legacy Project which enabled the volunteers to continue working with the city of Glasgow for 15 months after the event, learning new skills and building confidence. 

All 98 volunteers had been affected by homelessness and joined the programme in order to take positive steps and work towards creating constructive changes in their own lives. 

During the event, volunteers delivered over 3,000 hours of service over 341 matches – assisting attendees, players and officials.

Aftewards, volunteers continued to work with Glasgow Life in order to focus on developing skills and confidence through a range of sport, cultural and learning activities. 

A year-long Glasgow Club membership was also offered to all volunteers to ensure they could work towards achieving fitness goals and keeping themselves fit and healthy. 

Volunteers have taken part in coach education courses, legacy sessions and activities – and have even published their own book - “Home Ground: New Writing Inspired by the Homeless World Cup in Glasgow”.

David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Glasgow has a global reputation for hosting events and I don’t think anyone could argue that it isn’t well deserved. However, even by our own very high standards, the Homeless World Cup was excellent. 

“During the event last year, more than 500 competitors were watched by around 80,000 people in George Square but, even so, the crowds weren’t really there for a display of extraordinary footballing talent. Mostly they were there to directly support people who had come from around the world, each with experience of being homeless, each with their own story to tell and each at their own stage on a personal journey to create a better life for themselves. 

“Since then, our volunteers have all gone on to take positive steps towards reducing the isolation they may have experienced in the past, and also working hard to equip themselves with the skills they need to make positive changes in their lives. Last night was about celebrating each and every one of those people – and their wonderful contribution to the city of Glasgow after the last fifteen months.”

Sheila Graham, one of the 98 Legacy Project volunteers, said: “I’ve really enjoyed working with the Homeless World Cup project. Keeping busy, fit, and healthy are all very important to me and, as part of the project, I’ve been able to attend the Glasgow Club gyms, learn about many more volunteering opportunities, and meet lots of new people. 

“Through the Homeless World Cup Legacy Project, I’ve started volunteering with The Invisibles organisation on Wednesday nights. We go out to share food, drink, and warm clothes with people facing homelessness in Glasgow, and I really enjoy knowing that I’m doing something worthwhile and helpful. 

“I’ve also earned various sports qualifications through working with the team at Glasgow Life, all of which will help me with more opportunities in the future.”

The project is a finalist in the Legacy category of the Inspiring City Awards hosted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and The Herald, which celebrate the people and organisations which make the city a remarkable place to live, work, and play. 


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