Edinburgh Cheer: Take the pledge and spread Christmas cheer across the Capital

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You can sign up for our Edinburgh Cheer campaign HERE

THEIR friendly rivalry goes back decades, but today Hearts and Hibs are setting their differences to one side for a special bid to make Edinburgh the “Capital of Goodwill” this Christmas.

Both Hearts and Hibs are backing our Christmas Campaign.#edincheer

Both Hearts and Hibs are backing our Christmas Campaign.#edincheer

It’s all in support of our Edinburgh Cheer campaign, which launches today and aims to help people all over the Capital in need of smiles and support this festive season. The two clubs are supporting the campaign through their official charities – Big Hearts Community Trust and Hibernian Community Foundation – alongside NHS Lothian as part of their innovative GameChanger public social partnership.

Also backed by the Scottish Government, our campaign will be working throughout the festive season to find ways to improve life in Edinburgh and the Lothians for those who are facing a tough time this Christmas. Both clubs will be hosting and supporting a number of events throughout December in an effort to harness the power of football to help create a kinder city.

We will keep you updated on what is going on and the ways in which you can help. A number of local charities and organisations will also receive help to host their own Christmas events all over the city.

Helping kick off the campaign, Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster said the club was “delighted” to be working with Hearts to harness the power of football for a good cause.

Our aim is to spread goodwill and cheer this Christmas.

Our aim is to spread goodwill and cheer this Christmas.

She said: “We are also thrilled that so many other organisations have expressed a desire to support the Edinburgh Cheer campaign, and we hope that supporters and all other citizens will sign up to help make Christmas a little kinder for all the people of Edinburgh.”

She was joined at the launch by Hearts chairwoman Ann Budge, who said Hearts and Hibs joining forces was “testament” to the fact both wanted to do what they could for the Edinburgh community.

She said: “The city’s two major football clubs coming together to lead this campaign will, we hope, encourage lots of people to get behind us to deliver Edinburgh Cheer this Christmas. While the two clubs are fierce rivals on the pitch, off the pitch we share similar values and a similar determination to use football to create better outcomes for people.

“Although we do have lots of passionate supporters, we really are only rivals for 90 minutes three or four times a season. Otherwise both clubs are totally committed to doing what they can for the community and to help the people of Edinburgh.”

Further Edinburgh Cheer initiatives will be launched over the coming weeks to help as many people as possible across Edinburgh and the Lothians who need support, whether they be young, old, homeless, in poor health or lonely.

For NHS Lothian, the Edinburgh Cheer campaign offers the chance to tackle head on issues with wellbeing which arise each festive season.

Chief executive Tim Davison said the two footballing rivals coming together was “a real statement of goodwill”.

He added: “We are delighted to be part of a campaign that is harnessing the power and influence of football to promote health and wellbeing. It is a great opportunity and we are confident that it will make a real and meaningful difference to those who really need help and support, especially at this time of year.”

It was a view echoed by Aileen Campbell, the Scottish Government’s minister for public health and sport.

She said: “It is tremendous to see two of Scotland’s biggest clubs, city rivals, coming together to promote such a positive message and to help create such a tremendous spirit at Christmas. Football – our ­national sport – can be a powerful force for good, and this initiative further highlights the great impact it can have in communities.”

In addition to events laid on by the two clubs, the Edinburgh Cheer campaign comes with a series of key pledges so that you can help spread a little kindness in whatever way works for you. Whether it’s inviting someone to lunch or donating items to your local foodbank, the campaign pledges are designed to show how easily we can all give something back.

Euan McGrory, Evening News deputy editor, said: “It is exciting to see so many of the city’s great institutions coming together to help our local communities. Please join our team in any way you can and see what a difference we can make together.”

Our Christmas Pledges

*Smile and say Happy Christmas

Traffic warden? Shop assistant? Fellow commuters? Share some festive spirit with the people you meet each day

*Invite someone new for lunch

Maybe a neighbour who is on their own

*Give a little of your time

Sign up for our Edinburgh Cheer newsletter and see if you can help a local charity deliver a festive project in your neighbourhood

*Spread the word about a good cause

Share it on Facebook and Twitter, tell your friends – and don’t forget to let us know so we can help #edincheer

*Keep people warm on the streets

Watch out for details of how you can support our sleeping bag campaign for rough sleepers

*Wish a Polish neighbour ‘Wesolych Swiat’

Or say ‘feliz Navidad’ to a Spanish friend

*Bring some joy to a dinner table

Donate much-needed supplies to a foodbank such as the one at your local Tesco

*Make an older person on their own feel special

Send them a Christmas card through #VintageVibes VIP campaign

* Sing with us

Join our Edinburgh Cheer choir for communal carol singing. Watch out for details of where and when.

Take the pledge #edincheer

How you can help

We know that many of you are already doing so much to make Edinburgh and the Lothians a kinder and more caring place. And we want to help you shout about it.

Are you organising a collection for a food bank or a charity fundraiser and need some help to spread the word through the local community?

Do you know someone who has done something wonderful to make life better for others in the city and has never had the recognition they deserve?

Is your Brownie pack, lunch club or sports team giving their time to help others?

Could your business do something to help those that are hungry or living on the streets?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we want to hear from you – and we want to see your photographs of your kindness in action.

You can tell us what you are doing via our Facebook page or try sending us a message on Twitter using the hashtag #edincheer.

You can email us at newsen@edinburghnews.com dates, write to us at Edinburgh Cheer, Edinburgh Evening News, Orchard Brae House, 30 Queensferry Road, EH4 2HS, or telephone our news desk on 0131 311 7538.

If you can commit to even just one of our action points, then we would love you to take our Edinburgh Cheer pledge.

Sign up on our website at www.edinburghnews.com/edinburghcheer or email us at newsen@edinburghnews.com to receive our news letter with campaign updates and details of how you can help make a difference in your neighbourhood.

Or you can write to us at Edinburgh Cheer, Edinburgh Evening News, Orchard Brae House, 30 Queensferry Road, EH4 2HS.