Heart of Midlothian FC
Heart of Midlothian FC (commonly known as Hearts) is a Scottish professional football club based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Formed in 1874, Hearts are the oldest club in the Scottish capital. Currently the club plays in the Scottish Premiership, with home games being hosted at the Tynecastle Stadium.
Big Hearts Community Trust
Big Hearts Community Trust (Big Hearts) is the official charity of Heart of Midlothian FC and is a charity for families, supporting all generations within the communities we serve by leading, coordinating and facilitating meaningful activities where need is identified.
As part of the “Hearts Family”, working closely with the club and the Foundation of Hearts, they aim to use the power of the club’s crest to make a meaningful difference to the lives of families and individuals who need their help most.
Big Hearts’ mission
Big Hearts Community Trust is dedicated to delivering an ambitious family-focused strategy. It is an independent charity working closely with local organisations and charity partners in Edinburgh and surrounding areas to identify areas of needs and reach out to the most vulnerable families and individuals, including ‘hidden’ groups.
In general, Big Hearts is focusing on reducing Social Isolation across 5 key areas of need:
- Helping Kinship Care Families from across Edinburgh.
- Promoting Health initiatives including those with a focus on Mental Health.
- Supporting those living in Poverty.
- Encouraging the growth of a community where all Cultures and Backgrounds Thrive Together.
- Supporting Older People by providing engaging opportunities.
Current programmes of Big Hearts Community Trust
Big Hearts Supporters is their unique initiative, where fans of the football club give their support, time, expertise and commitment to a range of Big Hearts and Partner Programmes all designed to support those most in need from across our community.
Since summer 2016 over 200 Big Hearts Supporters have volunteered helping a range of the groups as detailed above.
The community trust’s Kinship Care Programme, in partnership with Mentor Scotland, delivers a range of support to families living within a Kinship Care Setting. Kinship Care is where a child lives with a family relative or close family friend for either a short period of time or permanently as their parents are unable to care for them.
The key areas of activity in this programme include: Annual Kinship Care Family Day, Our Regular Kinship Care After School Club, Emergency Essentials Grants and Youth Befriending. This wide range of activity from regular support to one off financial grants allows Big Hearts to offer tailored support to families with a range of needs.
In September 2017, Big Hearts launched the T.E.A.M Project in partnership with the Edinburgh based charity Multi-Cultural Family Base.
T.E.A.M – for Together Equality Achieves More – aims to improve the wellbeing and encourage social connections of young people attending the local schools who are from multi-cultural communities or families recently arrived in Edinburgh. Establishing a new area of focus for Big Hearts, the programme aims to offer opportunities for children to reduce social isolation and build a community where all cultures and backgrounds thrive together.
The T.E.A.M group meets once a week at Tynecastle Park and sees the young people involved play football, take part in creative activities and enjoy healthy snacks.
Big Hearts’ Football Memories Groups run within the new Hearts’ Museum at Tynecastle and sees volunteers support older people with or at risk of dementia. Around 20 volunteers support the group and this includes pupils from Tynecastle High School who help make memory books for the participants.
Each session lasts for 90 mins and is regularly visited by Hearts’ players of the past.
For further details on the great work Big Hearts have done, you can check their 2017 Annual Report here.