Lauriston Thistle break with tradition to help continue Bradley Welsh's Helping Hands legacy

An amateur football team has broken with convention by funding their own strips so that they could continue to build on Bradley Welsh’s legacy with Helping Hands charity in Edinburgh.

Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 9:04 am
Lauriston Thistle will launch the new strip featuring charity partner Helping Hands, Jim Slaven, Defender Jordan Bruce models the kit, Ryan Dinse

Lauriston Thistle, who are situated at East Pilton park, have raised their own funds through football cards in order to buy their own strips. This meant that they could place the Helping Hands logo in the centre of their shirts for the season ahead.

Welsh, 48, was shot dead outside his apartment in Chester Street in April this year.

Traditionally, local amateur sides would receive money from a local business in order to be able to fund the kit for the coming season. However, club manager Ryan Dinse wanted to do something different.

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Mr Dinse said: “As I was involved in the helping hands football sessions at Muirhouse when they first started and Brad was a good mate of mine, I just thought it would be a good idea for us to promote and support them in building a legacy. They do a lot of good work in my area and it’s nice to be able to help promote them.”

Lauriston Thistle were motivated by the idea that they could help raise the profile of the charity that was set up to give free football and boxing lessons to kids in deprived areas across the capital.

The lessons and sessions run throughout the summer holidays and are free for all the children involved. Free healthy snacks, professional coaching and even gifts are handed out every summer to the kids involved.

Jim Slaven, co-founder of Edinburgh Helping Hands, said: “Helping Hands are committed to encouraging participation in sport and supporting volunteering opportunities. Developing solidarity and building resilience within working class communities throughout Edinburgh is what Helping Hands is all about.

"Lauriston Thistle are a great example of that work and Helping Hands are delighted to be their shirt sponsor for the coming season.

"Edinburgh Helping Hands provides life skills and lessons to children who may not have the opportunity to gain them outside of the project. The organisation is bottom up and believes in ‘Solidarity Not Charity.’

"That is a mantra Lauriston Thistle have certainly adopted."