Mel Young, President and Co-founder of the Homeless World Cup and chair of Sportscotland has been recognised for his significant contribution to sport and social entrepreneurship with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
A figurehead for the sport for change movement, Mel has grown the Homeless World Cup from a small Scottish social enterprise into a global brand, creating a powerful environment where homeless people experience genuine respect and inclusion with the rest of society.
He has brought that ethos to his role as Chair of Sportscotland, driving an agenda with equality at its heart, increasing the opportunities for everyone to make sport and physical activity a part of their lives within a world-class sporting system.
Mel Young said to be “truly humbled” by the award, and that he was accepting it “on behalf of the countless people who work and volunteer in sport, recognising the transformational impact it can have on lives, in Scotland and right across the globe.”
“I firmly believe in the power of sport, in its ability to help instil leadership and teamwork among our children and young people, allow people to lead happier, healthier lives, and to promote social cohesion.
“I am privileged to work with like-minded people in Sportscotland and the Homeless World Cup who see sport as a catalyst for change and are determined to harness its power to address inequality in all its forms. This award is a celebration of all that we can, and will, achieve together.”
Mel has served on the board of Sportscotland for seven years, and was Vice-Chair for three years before taking on the role of Chair last year.
Mel has also co-founded The Big Issue in Scotland, the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) in 1995 and Social Entrepreneurs Network Scotland (Senscot).