NEVER underestimate the power of sport. There is so much good work going on by a variety of different organisations, who all use sport as a hook to support those who feel disengaged and we should be thankful to them all for their dedication. Whether it is just a smile, a more confident attitude, a healthier lifestyle, this small change from a participant starts to add up.

My involvement with Scottish Sports Futures (SSF) has given me an insight into this work and also to the amazing dedication that staff, in this environment, have towards their work. Working with young people and communities that are recognised as vulnerable or at risk, they deliver local and national programmes and provide tailored pathways to positive destinations.

This Friday is a big day for SSF as it is their Annual Awards Night. The night is organised and delivered by young people while recognising the achievements of those who have come through the programme and those who help deliver it. It’s a glamorous and emotional occasion, with 10 awards being presented on the night.

The aim of SSF is to support young people into positive destinations, increase activity levels and volunteer numbers as well as deliver a reduction in anti-social behaviour. On an individual basis this will mean improved retention levels of health information as well as an increase in confidence, self-esteem and self-worth. All so important in the increasingly frenetic social-media world that they all inhabit. The other success story is of course the volunteers who support the full-time staff. As in all areas of sport, without them sport would be in a very sorry state.

These intensive programmes of course come at a cost and whilst there are many supportive grant-funders, core costs that pay staff wages can be difficult to secure. For any organisation I would say this is a great way to use your CSR budget. The impact you could have will change lives.