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Published On: Mon, Aug 12th, 2013 at 11:54am

Five things you need to know today

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Homeless World Cup – Edinburgh International Book Festival – Edinburgh International Festival – Edinburgh Festival Fringe Pick of the Day – Critics v Comedians Football Match

Poznan 2013 HWC Scotland Team

As the Scotland Homeless World Cup team goes for a record third win at the championship in Poland this week, organisers have praised a unique initiative that has helped players to turn their life around.

Former Manchester United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson has also backed the programme, which uses football as a tool to improve the employability prospects of dozens of adults and young people who have experienced homelessness, addiction, offending behaviour and long-term unemployment.

Three of the Scotland team players were selected for squad after completing Football Works, an 80 hour personal development programme that combines coaching activities, vocational training leading to qualifications and one to one support.

And Football Works has proved so popular that it has already smashed its three year target in the first year – with over one hundred young people and adults moving into employment, education or volunteering.

John Brash, from Tranent, East Lothian, has completed Football Works and is now a volunteer coach.  The 26 year-old became homeless when he was discharged from the army for compassionate reasons. He is currently living in temporary accommodation with his partner and daughter.

John is representing Scotland this week as they go for a record third win at the Homeless World Cup, after winning the title of ‘World Champions’ in Denmark in 2007 and France in 2011. He said, “I’m both nervous and excited. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to play for your country!”

He added, “I am now a volunteer coach for the Under 19’s team at Street Soccer Scotland. The volunteer work has definitely made me a more confident person. I really enjoy it and I’d like to continue coaching in the future.”

The programme was set up in April 2012 by Dunedin Canmore Housing and social enterprise Street Soccer Scotland who also manage the Scotland team. Football Works is also supported by Edinburgh College and Foursquare Scotland

Since it started last year over 120 people have moved on from Football Works into education, volunteering or employment – almost double the target number of 65 for the entire three years of the project. In total, 312 unemployed people took part in the initiative in the first year.

Kirsten Marwick, Football Works Personal Development and Training Coordinator said, “Football Works is a great initiative using sport as a tool for personal development and boosting employment prospects. Dunedin Canmore is proud to be a part of helping to change lives.”

“There is a high level of unemployment today, particularly among young people, and programmes like this helps people build their confidence and work towards building their own future in a more positive way. It’s great to see so many come through the programme and go into their first job, starting a course or volunteering. It’s fantastic to see three making it into the Homeless World Cup team. It’s a real testament to the power of the programme. And we wish them the very best of luck this week!”

As part of the project there is also a range of courses available throughout the year focusing on Work Skills, Training, Personal Development and Coaching, all of which lead to SQA qualifications and are delivered in a sports based environment.

The Scottish Government awarded Dunedin Canmore £247,716 through the People and Communities Fund to deliver Football Works over a 3 year period in which the project aims to engage with 500 unemployed people.



Today at the Edinburgh International Book Festival includes:-

John BanvilleAncient Light (1.30pm)

Banville is back with a complex and rewarding tale that returns to a character from previous novels and delves into his teenage affair.  Today Banville discusses his approach to writing with Literary Critic Alex Clark.


Multiples with Adam Thirlwell (3.30pm)

Launching the result of an extraordinary experiment – a book that consists of stories translated by leading authors into another language, then re-translated into English, then re-translated again . . . and again.


Ann WiddecombeStrictly Ann (4.30pm)

With her forthright views and equally strident way of getting them across, Widdecombe was a formidable politician – she discusses the story of her life in, and out, of politics.


Ma JianThe Dark Road (6.45pm)

Ma Jian’s criticisms of the Chinese government let to it placing a blanket ban on all his future books in 1987.  His new novel, researched through intensive travel in remote parts of China, is a magic realist tale exploring the terrible effects of the One Child Policy on Chinese women.


BluePrint Debate:  Justice (7.00pm)

Former prisoner Erwin James and Bryan McLaughlin a senior member of Glasgow’s police force and the mastermind behind Crimestoppers, present challenging and controversial proposals for the future of the penal system.


Chris WareBuilding Stories (8.30pm)

In the first event in the Book Festival’s Stripped Programme, Chris Ware describes the long, 10 year, process of producing his masterpiece – a box set of differently-sized comics, booklets, broadsheets, posters and a cloth bound book, described as a graphic novel on the scale of James Joyce’s Ulysses.



To find out what you can go and see today at the Edinburgh International Festival the easiest way is to look up the website under Diary which you can reach by clicking here. The link will then take you to the box office for each show and you will be able to find out if there are still tickets available.

Today we are highlighting Leaving Planet Earth which takes you on a journey out to the climbing centre at Ratho. You probably have to be in the right mood for this as it is an interactive show. You possibly also have to have tickets already or contact the box office for any returns:-

Old Earth has nothing left for us, and so it is time for a new beginning. Cross galaxies, traverse light years and find yourself in a world where you can be the centre of your own universe. Welcome to New Earth. Never look back.

Vela, the revered and celebrated architect of this new society, has recently been avoiding her public duties in favour of visiting the Old Earth Museum and the company of its Security Guard. As the final migrants arrive, she is becoming increasingly obsessed by her memories, and questions are growing about her sanity.

Award-winning theatre company Grid Iron fuses live interactive performance with innovative digital and new media technologies.Leaving Planet Earth is a site-responsive promenade production on an epic scale. Tracing the story of humanity’s first migration into space, it asks fundamental questions about our connection to this planet. Should we leave this world, and if so, who will endure and at what cost?

Please note: the journey to New Earth begins at 8.00pm at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC). Buses will then transport travellers to New Earth (and back).

Data on the inhabitants of New Earth is an important part of the experience. Grid Iron will contact ticket holders in advance to discuss traveller information and preferences and ask about their memories of Old Earth.


The Smallest Light pic

Today’s pick of the day at the Fringe is actually something that starts next week, and is one for the diary:-


The Smallest Light


The Gramophones Theatre Company


Zoo Southside – 18-25 August – 17.50

What makes something worth standing up for? Can I change the world from my living room? What if I’m protesting, my costume rips and a picture of me naked ends up going viral? Hot off the back of their national tour with END TO END, the Gramophones return to Edinburgh with a daring new piece of theatre.


The bold campaigns of Pussy Riot in Russia and Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan stirred four British Women into action. These women resolved to stop their ineffective moaning and complaining and to attempt to find ways to stand up for what they believe in. THE SMALLEST LIGHT questions what makes something worth the fight? What affect can an individual have? And what do we risk when we make that stand?


Charting their journeys, from quirky concepts to moments of desperation, despair and human triumph, The Smallest Light uses exciting visual storytelling to tell four explosive stories about what it is that makes us act.

The Gramophones are a playful, all female company based in Nottingham.

Tickets here.



The Amnesty International Comics vs Critics Festival Football match returned to Edinburgh with the comedians, captained by Eric Lampaert, out to beat the critics for a second year in a row and they did it in style with two goals from Man of the Match Jimeoin and a late third from Tom Rosenthal to crush the critics dreams for another year.

The Critics team included journalists from Fest, The Guardian, The Scotsman, The British Comedy Guide, The Sun and The Independent.

Amnesty International’s Mark Bevan, said:-“We joked it was such a grudge match that Amnesty needed to referee but with the critics taking the title for the second year this is shaping up to be our very own Festival derby. We did manage to ensure nobody’s rights were abused during the match.

“Amnesty has always had a natural affinity with artists and journalists because of our role protecting the right to freedom of expression, something they both rely on to do their jobs.”

Pictured are comics Milton Jones (“Mock The Week” etc, centre right), Edinburgh comic Daniel Sloss (centre right) and Eric Lampeart (correct, comics team captain and wearing sea captain’s cap), with critics Tommy Holgate (top left, from The Sun), Gary Flockhart (Edinburgh Evening News, bottom left), Lucy Gray (British Comedy Guide) and Nick Clark (The Independent).

And the result? Comedians won 3-1!

Photos by Colin Hattersley

07974 957 388

FREE PIC- Comics v Critics Amnesty Football 06 FREE PIC- Comics v Critics Amnesty Football 04 FREE PIC- Comics v Critics Amnesty Football 01

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About the Author

- Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter. Edinburgh-born multimedia journalist, and always available for freelance work. A keen iPhoneographer!

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