Big Hearts Community Trust taps into fans’ passion

Blazej Augustyn and Juwon Oshinawa support the Big Hearts initiative. Picture: Julie Bull

Blazej Augustyn and Juwon Oshinawa support the Big Hearts initiative. Picture: Julie Bull

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HEARTS supporters dug deep during their darkest hour to prove that they have a passion for the club.

Now they are being asked to show that they have a passion for the community, too.

A new initiative being launched by the Big Hearts Community Trust is calling on supporters to sign up as volunteers for the charity.

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Those who get involved can do as little as share good news on social media or as much as become a family counsellor or support worker.

The campaign is the first of its kind for a football club in Scotland and will offer training for those who want to help families in need.

Club owner Ann Budge said that no fans will be asked to make an extra financial contribution, pointing out that 8000 already donate monthly to the Foundation of Hearts.

She said: “This is the next step in realising the ambitions of Big Hearts – and one which the whole football club is firmly behind.

“Since Big Hearts’ refocus in 2015, we have seen the charity make a real difference to families in our community and we are very keen to see this expanding.

“We have already seen what is possible when the club engages appropriately with our fantastic supporters and it is absolutely right that Big Hearts should provide a further opportunity for our supporters to engage in ways that suit them and help them to feel even more part of our great club and our wider community.

“Of course, we all recognise the huge contribution our supporters are already making in a financial sense to the club’s resurgence, but this is about giving in an entirely different way. This is about giving time and expertise to support our community.

“It is definitely not about giving money, and for those who are able to get involved, I know they will find it very 
rewarding.”

The charity will hold a Big Hearts Day at Tynecastle this Saturday when the club take on Kilmarnock in the Premiership.

Foundation of Hearts chairman Brian Cormack said: “The Foundation of Hearts directors are all immensely proud to have signed up to be Big Hearts Supporters. We have seen first-hand the joy being given to families in the kinship care programme and look forward to assisting Big Hearts as supporters as they continue their great work in the community.”

Big Hearts general manager Caryn Kerr said: “We are thrilled and excited to be launching our Big Hearts Supporter movement.

“Our biggest strength as a charity is our very obvious link to Heart of Midlothian and we believe this campaign utilises that strength while adding real force to the club’s family focused aims.

“Every single fan can get involved in a manner that suits them. Whatever an individual can do, whether that is sharing a tweet or volunteering regularly, be assured we will be very grateful for the support.”

barry.anderson@edinburghnews.com