Care and Repair put Hearts into helping

Members of Big Hearts go out into the community to help the old and disabled
Members of Big Hearts go out into the community to help the old and disabled
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A dedicated group of handy people have won an Inspiring Volunteer Award from the Capital.

The team work for Care and Repair Edinburgh – and it is the third year running that the team have won the award to mark Volunteers’ Week, which recognises and celebrates the wonderful contribution made by volunteers across the city.

This year’s award celebrated the successful partnership between Care and Repair Edinburgh and Big Hearts Community Trust – in which supporters of Hearts FC volunteer to provide practical and technical support to older and disabled people in the community.

Care and Repair Edinburgh is a major partner of Big Hearts’ volunteering programme and their group of handy people demonstrates how football fans can change the lives of the most vulnerable, with its clients feeling less isolated and secure in their own homes.

The programme provides a wide range of practical services and advice to assist older and disabled people in Edinburgh to live in their own homes in more comfort, security and with greater independence.

Volunteers offer a range of DIY and technology skills, which includes everything from changing lightbulbs, hanging pictures and fitting curtain rails to setting up digital TV boxes and telephones.

The Big Hearts volunteers who have come through this partnership have been so prolific that they have carried out more than 165 referrals for Care and Repair clients since January this year.

Yvonne Georgeson, volunteer officer for Care and Repair, said: “We are delighted to have won an Inspiring Volunteer Award for the third year running.

“The fact it jointly celebrates our successful partnership with Big Hearts makes it extra special. Our volunteers are so keen to help our clients that we can hardly keep up with getting referrals to them.

“They just enjoy helping and the less able and elderly feel more comfortable and less isolated in their homes.”

The team was presented with their award by Lord Provost Frank Ross at a ceremony in the City Chambers this month.

Craig Wilson, Big Hearts interim general manager, said: “We are delighted to see our Big Hearts Care and Repair volunteers recognised for their fantastic commitment to support vulnerable people across Edinburgh.

“Since we launched, we have been delighted to be working with Care and Repair Edinburgh on this project which we know already benefits people in need.

“By helping Hearts fans to become volunteers we are increasing the number of individuals and families supported by the charity and it is great to see our first group of volunteers recognised for providing this help.”

Neil, a Care and Repair Big Hearts volunteer said: “Being a volunteer is a great opportunity to put something positive back into the local community.

“It is both rewarding and satisfying to know that the work we do in fixing common everyday property problems does help to improve the wellbeing of residents as they go about their daily lives.”