Big Hearts to run Welcome through Football project in Edinburgh

29 April 2021

Big Hearts to run Welcome through Football project in Edinburgh

From June of this year Big Hearts, the charity of Heart of Midlothian FC will be delivering the first 12 weeks of ‘Welcome through Football’ at Tynecastle Park, in the West of Edinburgh.

Almost 9 in 10 people born outside the UK arrived under the age of 35. With ‘Welcome Through Football’ Big Hearts will provide support and assistance to recently arrived young refugees, asylum seekers and young people with a migrant background who are between 7 and 25 years old.  

Edinburgh is the most ethnically-varied place in Scotland. According to the latest census, the country’s capital hosts more non-British residents than any other council areas. Edinburgh is also the local authority that welcomed the highest number of resettled refugees under the Government’s schemes for vulnerable people and children. 

Through a shared methodology, the project – which is funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, will offer a range of football-based activities at the Hearts’ Stadium to promote social inclusion, employability, and intercultural dialogue. 

Big Hearts is honoured to have been selected by the European Football for Development Network as one of 9 organisations delivering ‘Welcome through Football’ across Europe and the first ever one to do so in Scotland.

Other partners of the project include: AEK Athens (Greece), Everton in the Community (England), Newcastle United Foundation (England), Fundacao Benfica (Portugal), Werder Bremen (Germany), FC Emmen (Netherlands), Sheffield United Community Foundation (England) and KAA Gent (Belgium).

WELCOME THROUGH FOOTBALL IS A 3 STEPS PROCESS:

  1. Socialisation to sports – providing different football offerings for young refugees of both genders related to their specific requirements such as language skills or the possibility of trauma.
  2. Socialisation in sports – working on team structure, giving more responsibility to the participants and offering additional steps out with the sports training sessions.
  3. Socialisation through sports – Focusing on the skills the participants learn from taking part in the available offers so that they qualify for further education in and outside of sports.
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