Tangerines get behind behind Shelter runaways project
Dundee United players have been sharing their skills and training tips with a group of teenage runaways ahead of the team’s Scottish League Cup Final against Celtic this weekend.
Young people from the Safe and Sound project – a service which helps young runaways and their families – got the amazing opportunity of having a kick around with their heroes thanks to support from the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).
Safe and Sound is run by Shelter Scotland, which is the SPFL’s 2015 national charity partner.
The group included 16-year-old Sam Philips, who dreams of becoming a professional sports coach. She received expert guidance from Dundee United players and their manager, Jackie McNamara (both pictured), who was impressed by her ambition.
McNamara even invited Sam to see the new academy facilities and encouraged her to join the new wave of women in the game in coaching and managerial roles.
Sam, from Dundee, was put in touch with Safe & Sound in 2013. She said: “I would never have imagined I would be standing on the pitch with Dundee United.
“It is incredible to meet the players and especially Jackie. I can’t thank them enough and am more determined than ever to make it as a coach and hopefully someday mentor young people who need that extra support like I did.”
Run by Shelter Scotland in partnership with Relationships Scotland, the Safe and Sound service works to reduce the risk of homelessness for young people.
It is estimated that there are almost 12,000 incidents of young people running away from home each year in Scotland.
Richard McGilvray, manager of Safe & Sound, said: “The excitement that built up in the lead up to the training session is a testament to the power of football and its role in community and family life across Scotland.
“We look forward to building on our relationship with the SPFL to spread the word to young people, and anyone else facing homelessness and bad housing across Scotland, that help is at hand.”
Neil Doncaster, SPFL Chief Executive, added: “Football can be an extremely positive, powerful force and we know that all of our 42 clubs carry out tremendous work and run projects which support and inspire people in their communities.”