Shaper: David Duke

Show aired on 12th August 2017

Transcript

Elliot Moss
The big band sound of Nat King Cole with Almost Like Being In Love. Good morning this is Jazz Shapers, I am Elliot Moss, thank you very much for joining me. Jazz Shapers is where you can hear the very best of the people shaping the world of jazz, blues and soul and what we do here on Jazz Shapers is we put someone who is shaping the world of business right alongside them and we call them Business Shapers. My Business Shaper today is David Duke and he is the Founder and CEO of Street Soccer and he’s done some other things too which you are going to be hearing about; a new centre he’s opened. He is an entrepreneur with a difference because his is a social enterprise and you’ll be hearing all about this remarkable man’s history and where he’s taken it and what he’s doing now. In addition to hearing from David you’ll also be hearing from our programme partners at Mischon de Reya, some words of advice for your business and on top of that if that isn’t enough you’ll also be getting some brilliant music from the shapers of jazz, blues and soul Mose Allison is in there, Etta James is too and so is this one from Melody Gardot.

That was Melody Gardot with Amalia and nice it was too. We haven’t played much Melody Gardot, maybe we’ll play more here on Jazz Shapers. David Duke is my Business Shaper here today as I said earlier Founder and CEO of Street Soccer and also the Founder of the thing called the Change Centre and that was only last year so the most recent addition to the Duke empire. Thank you firstly for joining me. Tell me about this Duke empire, where did the beginnings of this actually start David and then tell me a little bit about what Street Soccer is and why it happened that way?

David Duke
So kind of to put it in context Street Soccer Scotland uses football to engage with people who are kind of cut off from society, through homelessness, mental health, addiction problems or maybe working with refugee communities. But actually the reason behind it all was from my own personal experience so 2001 I was a young guy living in Glasgow and after the death of my father things started to… my life started to spiral out of control to the point where I lost my job, I was kind of grieving after the death of my father and I never knew what to do, I never knew where to go.

Elliot Moss
How old were you at that time?

David Duke
So I was twenty one and basically I kind of shut down you know and I kind of as I say went into this kind of downward spiral which led to me losing most things in my life which included my home because, because I was dealing with the emotion and the stress and the trauma of things that had happened I turned to alcohol, I turned to going out every night and not turn up for work so I lost my job. When you don’t have a job you struggle to pay your rent so I lost my house and before I knew it I was homeless on the streets of Glasgow and that lasted for about three years. So you can imagine the kind of state I was in by the end of that period from starting off with some kind of incidents of rough sleeping and then going into kind of very kind of dangerous hostel environments in the city centre of Glasgow which were kind of like eighty/ninety beds, no support, just a room, left to your own devices you know and I was kind of trapped in this kind of world where all my life chances were diminishing, my confidence was broken you know I didn’t have any self-esteem or nothing. I never had any hope basically. I was just in existence you know I would wake up not knowing what the day was going to bring and that can be a really unsettling time especially for a young person in that you know.

Elliot Moss
And what was the trigger after the three years or so that stopped the cycle because I just want to understand that briefly. We’re going to come back to it because I look at that and what you’ve just described is by anyone’s stretch of the imagination really hard. I mean awful, the thing you don’t want your kid to ever have to go through or your friend or anything and yet you’ve been in it. How do you break that cycle that’s the thing I’m really interested in for a moment?

David Duke
So for me it was a move to a kind of supported accommodation which was almost like your own kind of bedsit type thing which was part of a block of thirty two which was run by a charity in Scotland and when I was in there I was still homeless obviously but I started getting involved in it – so football, I got involved in a football tournament down in Glasgow Green, sixteen kind of homeless projects all playing football and then got selected to go and represent Scotland at the Homeless World Cup as part of that. When you look back on how did you break the cycle I think it was, all the research that we’ve done over the years and all the experience that I’ve gained by working with people who are going through homelessness and so on and obviously experiencing it myself all the evidence points to the three things that everyone needs which is security – which is a roof over your head; purpose – having somewhere to be, something to do, something meaningful and relationships – which aren’t paid for relationships so not a support worker but real relationships that you can nurture and you can go grow and if yourself, if you look at your own life and say right what would happen, and the listeners as well, what would happen if I removed one of those elements, if I removed the security or lost my home or I removed my purpose whether you lose your job or your kind of role in life or your relationships or you split up with your wife or you suddenly don’t have any friends. If you lost any one of those things, things would quickly unravel for you whether it be mental health, addiction and so on, how you feel about yourself. So if you can imagine being on the streets where you don’t have any of those you know so for me I was lucky that I found those three things. I never knew it at the time, it’s not until I look back and reflect but that’s what worked for me.

Elliot Moss
Brilliant and we’re going to hold it right there on that poignant moment because I think you said it brilliantly, security, purpose, relationships it’s definitely food for thought. Stay with me for much more from David Duke my Business Shaper we’re going to find out about Street Soccer and how he has created something which is helping people who are probably exactly in his position or very similarly challenged. Time for some more music this is Roy Ayers and Everybody Loves The Sunshine.

That was Roy Ayers with Everybody Loves The Sunshine. David Duke is my Business Shaper today, Founder and CEO of Street Soccer and David we were hearing about how you ended up being homeless and the world was not a great place for you and then I asked that question around what’s the pivot, what’s the moment when things get better and those three big fundamentals as you said security, purpose, relationships. So you’re in that place, you come out of that place. Soccer is a catalyst you end up playing football for Scotland in the Homeless, I think it’s called the Homeless World Cup.

David Duke
Yeah.

Elliot Moss
And then what makes you decide to do something because it’s one thing recovering yourself and being selfish in a good way in other words getting your own life back together again and having those three things. You then over years have decided to go and create something which helps other people. I find that the most interesting thing because not everyone can do that, has the capability or wants to. Was it therapeutic for you to then go and do something, is that how it’s worked?

David Duke
Well you know I mean I look back and I never really kind of thought about it much you know I kind of never really reflected on why I was doing it, it just felt like the right thing to do you know so when I came out of homeless and I got my own house, I trained in community work so it was qualifications to be a community worker. So I found myself working during the day with people who were homeless for like the Big Issue Foundation and then in the evenings I was coaching kids football and doing youth work and that lasted a couple of years and it just made sense to kind of bring it all together you know because I experienced the Homeless World Cup and went to play and all that and the football element had a really big impact but in Scotland every day there’s someone needing support you know there’s thirty six thousand homeless applications in Scotland and the large kind of, the big part of the demographic of homelessness in Scotland is young men you know and football is something that people can connect or maybe they’ve watched it at some point or played it at some point and I just felt that with my experience, my life experience and some of the skills that I had picked up over the years it made sense just to create something which allowed other people to get the experience that I got i.e. having somewhere to be, somewhere to meet new people and somewhere to release stuff.

Elliot Moss
Yeah relax because it’s fun isn’t it, you play sports if its soccer or whatever it might be, football it doesn’t really matter as long as, and it makes you feel good.

David Duke
Yeah.

Elliot Moss
So back in 2009 you set this thing up. Where did the funding come from in the early days because you now employ twenty people, money doesn’t grow on trees, where does it come from?

David Duke
So in the start I kind of quit my job in Glasgow and I moved to Edinburgh because I wanted it to be a national organisation and Edinburgh being the capital city but also I never really knew the landscape in Edinburgh so I got £3,000 start-up funding from a start-up agency in Edinburgh. I continued to kind of work part-time on a Wednesday and a Saturday and it kind of just went from there you know bought footballs, bought equipment, bought a laptop and then really started chapping doors and getting people involved and going round all the day centres, agencies, rehabilitation centres, doctors surgeries, mental health agencies and just saying look gave a wee bit about my story and tried to use that as inspiration to get more people to come and play and before we knew it it was getting busier and busier and it came to the point where I had to think about how, like in a kind of growth strategy you know because it was honestly it was too much for me. So I basically took six of the players who were currently attending and I put them through like an academy programme where they would go to college one day a week, they did their coaching badges and then they would volunteer with the Big Issue magazine and that kind of gave them some structure and skills to a point where they started gaining their own leadership so they started delivering the sessions locally which allowed me to focus on a marketing strategy, a business case, trying to engage with Governments and corporate funders and corporate backers so we could start building it you know and that’s what we did you know. Sir Alex Ferguson came on board as an ambassador which obviously increased our profile. But yeah just building relationships mostly in the corporate sector to be honest you know because creating change is a team effort you know you can’t just rely on charities or charitable trusts or local authorities, the business community has a massive to play and lots of skills to contribute and that’s where I focused my time in the early days.

Elliot Moss
Stay with me to find out what happened next with David Duke my Business Shaper; CEO and Founder of Street Soccer. Latest travel in a couple of minutes and before that some words of wisdom I hope for your burgeoning business from our programme partners at Mishcon de Reya.

You’re listening to Jazz Shapers with me Elliot Moss every Saturday I get to meet someone who’s doing something fantastic, creating change, shaping the world of business. Today slightly differently my Business Shaper is someone who is in the world of business we’re going to come onto that in a moment David but actually David Duke is the Founder of a social enterprise so it’s imperative is not the profit one, it’s imperative is how do you provide hope and opportunity for people, especially people who have been homeless. How do you help them move away from that. David you were talking about the early days where you literally it sounded like you did pound the streets, you went to all the different agencies that would be connected to people with issues of mental health, you raised some money. That tenacity and that sense of purpose that you created now here we are 2017 do you still feel that every day? Do you still feel that same drive that got you going back then?

David Duke
Yeah totally I mean I think when I look at society just now and I look at my own areas in Glasgow and Edinburgh I still see real inequality and real injustice and I think for me it would be a shame for me to hide my experiences you know because actually I’m representing people out there who don’t have a voice and often are kind of just left, there’s a term people use ‘oh we work with hard to reach’. I call it ‘easy to forget’ you know and I think for me it’s about trying to influence change not only on the ground but in Governments and in local authorities and in changing how people see homelessness and change how people address homelessness because one of the biggest challenges we see, well I see certainly is stigma you know and the whole public perception of homelessness and where it comes from and what it means and some people look at homelessness as a problem but I’m looking at these guys and lasses on the street thinking if only you had the opportunity you know because actually I’m seeing talent, I’m seeing Bus Drivers, I’m seeing Doctors and Jazz Musicians and you know and it’s about how do we reduce the stigma around homelessness so that people don’t feel ashamed by the situation to the point where it almost keeps them there.

Elliot Moss
But it’s hard isn’t because for someone who is not involved in helping directly and I’m putting myself in that category, I live in London and I see a lot more homelessness now in my forties than I saw in my thirties and my twenties and it’s hard to know how you help because you go what do I do with this human being in front of me who is obviously in a terrible situation do I give money, I mean I have personally tried to do stuff and I fail miserably in the sense that I’ve taken telephone numbers so there’s a lack of knowledge also I think of the general population beyond giving to a charity or finding a David Duke out there. What does one do?

David Duke
Yeah and that’s a question I get asked quite a lot actually when I’m speaking to people. My advice to anyone is always just, it’s not always just about handing over cash you know it’s actually just taking the time out to say ‘hello, how are you’ because actually the research we have done in the past when we’ve asked people who are experiencing homelessness what does moving on look like. I mean they write it down it’s about relationships, it’s about feeling part of the community, it’s about having some purpose in life and something positive to do each day that’s what they see moving on as. You know so for me if somebody wants to make a difference just go and chat and say hello.

Elliot Moss
Stay with me for more from my inspirational Business Shaper today that’s David Duke. Time for some more music this is Etta James and I Just Want To Make Love To You.

That was Etta James with I Just Want To Make Love To You. David Duke is my Business Shaper today, Founder and CEO of Street Soccer Scotland and David you were earlier talking about how you went about getting the business community involved and everyone now talks about this big word collaboration and its world of sharing economy and all this other stuff. It’s obvious this is common sense to you that those in business, people firstly, money secondly, skills, all those things – has that been critical to the success of your endeavour?

David Duke
Yeah very much so. Often in the kind of third sector in the charity sector and social enterprise the first thing that people assume corporate involvement were you are sitting on boards like a lawyer and accountants stuff like that but actually there’s so much more in there to offer you know there’s some real talented people. Young people, older people with great experience so I kind of focused that so we rebuilt partnerships, with Burness Paull, Royal Bank of Scotland to engage with their staff to say right okay if we were doing a fundraising campaign then you can kind of engage with the people there. If we were working on a particular project where we needed a particular set of skills we could access those skills rather than having to hire someone, we could actually access in the workplace some of the corporate partners but it’s a win/win situation as well you know because actually for us we’re very visible in terms of we’ve got thousands of players, we have quite good press coverage and so on and we’re known as a kind of strong community organisation so actually for brands in business to be associated with that there’s real value for them you know and I think I always say to businesses it’s really important that you can allow your staff to engage with something that they get purpose from. Whether its charities in Africa or fundraising campaigns and so on I think it’s really important for the workplace, for people to have that opportunity to go out and do good.

Elliot Moss
I imagine that the accolades that you’ve received over the years and that the organisation has received are only important to you because they help raise the profile which then helps you raise more funds and do better work. But I just want to touch on it. I mean you were the Legacy Partner, the Organisation Legacy Partner for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, you were there at the opening ceremony with Sir Chris Hoy who I’ve stood next to in a queue and I’ve never seen thighs like it.

David Duke
Yeah.

Elliot Moss
I mean extraordinary thighs.

David Duke
Absolutely massive.

Elliot Moss
I mean seriously they were bigger than, I mean I’ve never seen anything so extraordinary and my wife was the same it was like ‘wow those are proper thighs’. James McAvoy I digress and also you are involved with Unicef I mean… and you’ve been, I think you were a change maker back in 2012, you’ve been named a CNN hero in 2016. I mean wow have you not got a big head? From where you came from in that sense do you not think the boy done well?

David Duke
No I mean I think we can always do better you know I think I’ve always been like that, I mean you don’t really get time to sit and say ‘oh I’ve done well’, it’s not me you know it doesn’t suit me, it doesn’t, it’s not me at all and I try to make sure the organisation is not like that as well you know that we don’t gloat or think we’re better than we are. You know there’s enough people talking we like to just kind of just go out and try and do you know and do good and stuff like that. I’ve done an interview recently for a newspaper in Scotland and they’d asked me what’s been your proudest thing you know and actually the proudest thing for me is probably like being able to make your mum proud you know because I went through difficult times after my father passed away and I lived a life of chaos and it was unsafe and it must have been troubling for my mother at the time but actually just to be able to make her proud because I had managed to turn it around and do something. That’s the biggest achievement anyone can ask for. You mentioned personal success or the organisation success, our success is measured by our players who move on. So success is going, I had a guy who was standing on a bridge to go into full-time employment and getting access to his kid again. So that’s success. So that’s how we measure it, when we hear stories of players kind of showing courage just to turn up for football or to do a training course or to take that job or… that’s success. All the other stuff yes it’s good for funders and it’s good for, it might look good but the real stuff happens on the pitch and that’s how I personally measure success.

Elliot Moss
Stay with me for my final chat today with David plus we’ll be playing a track from Jason Moran that’s after the latest traffic and travel here on Jazz FM.

That was Jason Moran with Honeysuckle Rose. David Duke is my Business Shaper just for a few more minutes. We’ve been talking about his endeavour Street Soccer Scotland. You’re obviously a humble guy because I think that success and humility are very comfortable bed fellows and anyone that says they’ve made it hasn’t made it I guess and I’ve had that experience at least talking to people on this programme. Going forward David what are your ambitions for as you said the people that you’re actually impacting through the lens of what you’re trying to do now. Are you going to, this is going to be a lifelong purpose for you I can see, I’m guessing. How else do you keep making it better?

David Duke
Well I think from Street Soccer’s perspective it’s about, it’s not about growth, it’s about just doing things a bit better and sharing, sharing what we’ve learned so that other organisations and other individuals can go away and maybe replicate some of the things that work in terms of changing lives. Sort of for example when we went on a project in Barcelona just now where they are setting up a similar project to us and we’re just providing mentorship and support to that. In terms of from a personal perspective I mean poverty is something that I am passionate about kind of alleviating you know I’m not a millionaire or anything like that but I think if you can take a kind of business mind approach to tackling the effects of poverty and doing things a bit differently I think you can make a difference and I think Street Soccer is a great team of people who are constantly doing good every day and trying to be better. We all have that, we have a kind of one of our values is punching above your weight you know so it’s… and then looking at what else can we get involved in to kind of create change you know and make people’s lives a wee bit better so that could be around homelessness, it could be around child poverty because I very much grew up in child poverty as well so I’ve got a real kind of just to make the world a wee bit better for people who don’t have the same chances as others you know and make sure that everybody has a voice regardless of your social economic background you know and then we’ve got the Change Centre which is a new kind of innovation piece around supporting people going through homelessness by providing purpose and relationships but around volunteering and engaging in the wider community. So it’s not us and them, it’s not the homeless and us you know people are people regardless of your mental health or if you’re homeless you know, people are people and we need to remember that.

Elliot Moss
David thank you for spending some time with me I really appreciate it. Good luck with everything.

David Duke
Thank you.

Elliot Moss
And I hope you continue to get the support that you need to enable other people to as you said change their lives. Just before I let you go, before you zip off, what’s your song choice and why have you chosen it?

David Duke
So this is where it gets a bit technical so my song choice is No Other Way by a fellow Scot Paolo Nutini who is not really known to be a jazz musician but I think you can definitely feel a bit of jazz and soul in this song and its only right that I promote anything Scottish while I am on.

Elliot Moss
Here he is just for you, thank you David.

That was No Other Way from Paolo Nutini the song choice of my Business Shaper today, David Duke who mapped out the issue with homelessness brilliantly security, purpose, relationships. Those three things being absolutely critical to getting one’s life back on track. He talked about the most important thing for him from his perspective about making his mum proud especially because he himself had struggled and been homeless. And finally his advice to all of us, what do we do when we meet a person who is homeless we talk to them and we treat them like another person, we remember that they are people. I think it’s all really simple stuff but he has done something really special with that simple stuff. Do join me again, same time, same place that’s next Saturday, 9.00am for another edition of Jazz Shapers. Meanwhile stay with us coming up next here on Jazz FM its Nigel Williams.

David Duke

David Duke is the founder and CEO of recently named ‘Charity of the Year’, Street Soccer Scotland, a non-profit organisation 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.

David works closely with local and national Government, sports governing bodies, mental health charities, housing associations, professional football clubs 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. 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 was an honoured guest of the Special Olympics in LA. David is also Global Ambassador for the Homeless World Cup organisation, an Ambassador for Charity Quarriers and an Advisory Board Member for UNICEF (Scotland).

He was named The Sunday Times ‘Change Maker’ of the Year in 2012 and a CNN Hero in 2016. David has also been recognised by Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University which awarded him an Honorary Doctorate for his work in his field.

Follow David on Twitter @MrDavidDuke.

Listen live at 9am Saturday.

Street Soccer Scotland uses football to engage with people who are cut off from society, through homelessness, mental health, addiction problems or maybe working with refugee communities…

The reason behind it all was my own personal experience…I got involved in a football tournament down in Glasgow Green, sixteen homeless projects all playing football, and then got selected to represent Scotland at the Homeless World Cup.

Sir Alex Ferguson came on board as an ambassador which obviously increased our profile.

Creating change is a team effort. You can’t just rely on charities or charitable trusts or local authorities, the business community has a massive role to play and lots of skills to contribute.

When I look at society just now and I look at my own areas in Glasgow and Edinburgh I still see real inequality and real injustice.

I’m representing people out there who don’t have a voice…there’s a term people use ‘oh we work with hard to reach…’. I call it ‘easy to forget’.

I’m looking at these guys and lasses on the street thinking, if only you had the opportunity because actually I’m seeing talent, I’m seeing bus drivers, I’m seeing doctors and jazz musicians…

It’s about feeling part of the community, it’s about having some purpose in life and something positive to do each day…for me, if somebody wants to make a difference just go and chat and say hello.

When we hear stories of players showing courage just to turn up for football or to do a training course or to take that job…that’s success. All the other stuff, yes it’s good for funders but the real stuff happens on the pitch and that’s how I personally measure success.

People are people regardless of your mental health or if you’re homeless, you know. People are people, and we need to remember that.