11 Dec UEFA’s Football and Social Responsibility partners pledge to work more collaboratively
UEFA’s Football and Social Responsibility (FSR) unit and expert partner organisations address key social responsibility issues such as diversity, social inclusion, human rights issues, child safeguarding and health and wellbeing through the power of football. Following the most recent annual meeting, UEFA’s partners have pledged to work more collaboratively and to take an intersectional approach to health and social outcomes.
Positioned under its pillar of Respect, UEFA’s approach to FSR is embedded across multiple departments, continuously evolving; aiming to extend and develop social responsibility within UEFA and with national associations.
UEFA’s FSR strategy enhances the value of the organisation’s core business while contributing to sustainable development in society. Its strategy is based on the notion that social responsibility activities need not come at the expense of profit; rather that social responsibility is about how revenue can be generated.
UEFA applies a systems approach that works in cooperation with key economic, health, social, financial and environmental stakeholders to promote social responsibility throughout all aspects and all levels of football. They have a dedicated partner portfolio which addresses a number of key social responsibility issues including but not limited to diversity, social inclusion, human rights issues, child safeguarding and health and wellbeing.
Following the most recent annual meeting, and discussion around the health, social and economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the partners have pledged to work more collaboratively and to explore how they can take an intersectional approach to health and social outcomes.
The term, intersectionality is a way to advance our understanding of how gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age and other protected characteristics interact with one another and how they can lead to social and health inequalities. In other words, some of the social responsibility issues addressed by UEFA’s partners do not exist in isolation but can often exist beside one another.
For instance, the Homeless World Cup Foundation use the power of football to help homeless populations change their lives and to change perceptions and attitudes towards people who are experiencing homelessness. Whilst their work primarily addresses social inclusion, homeless populations often experience huge health inequalities and psychological trauma and therefore, taking a multidisciplinary approach can enhance their work. Healthy Stadia has worked directly with the Homeless World Cup Foundation for many years, most recently delivering training on Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma-informed practice to coaches in July.
Partners are now in the early stages of identifying key themes where their respective work programmes overlap, how they can share best practices and ultimately how they can augment UEFA’s work in football in order to contribute toward the sustainable development goals.