Big Hearts hail selfless fans as record-breaking numbers sign up to deliver Christmas

Big Hearts have hailed the kindness and support of football fans across Edinburgh and the Lothians after a record-breaking number signed up to deliver Christmas cheer to those struggling over the festive period.

A group of Hearts fans volunteering at the Stadium to wrap up and prepare Christmas gifts deliveries. Picture: Contributed
A group of Hearts fans volunteering at the Stadium to wrap up and prepare Christmas gifts deliveries. Picture: Contributed

The Hearts-linked charity revealed 274 volunteers had taken time out of their own busy schedules to help distribute 400 pre-cooked Christmas dinners, 500 bags of tailored presents and 100 food parcels in time for Christmas Day.

This ensures 500 adults and children will have something to smile about when the big day comes amid the ongoing financial hardships made worse by the uncertainty of the Covid-19 global pandemic.

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Those in need are referred to Big Hearts by local schools, social workers and partner charities. Craig Wilson, general manager of the Big Hearts Community Trust, stated that referrals had jumped up by a startling 100 per cent between last year and this one.

Hearts Players visit to the Broomhouse foodbank. From left: Taylor Moore, Craig Gordon, Alex Cochrane & Beni Baningime. Picture: Contributed

He said: “Our priority this Christmas is ensuring families can enjoy a fresh Christmas dinner from the comfort and safety of their home and receive presents to open on Christmas morning.

"The fact that our charity saw a 100 per cent increase in requests for support this year just shows how many more individuals are struggling over the festive season – with some facing poverty or loneliness for the very first time.

“Alongside our dedicated staff team, Big Hearts Volunteers are playing a vital role in supporting the 500 adults and children on our list. Our award-winning Big Hearts Supporters Movement was designed to do just that: use the incredible power of football to join forces and help others in need.

"We are incredibly grateful to all who decided to sign up and donate their time and skills to make a difference. Thank you.”

The Hearts Women Team supporting Big Hearts' Gift Back initiative. From left: Clare Williamson & Addie Handley. Picture: Contributed

Hearts chief executive, and Big Hearts trustee, Andrew McKinlay added: "Throughout the pandemic, football has remained a force for good and it’s heart-warming to see a record number of Hearts fans joining Big Hearts, the charity operating from Tynecastle Park, to help provide much needed support across the community this Christmas.

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"They are a credit to our club, and our shared family and community values. A big thank you to all involved, your kindness doesn’t go unnoticed.”

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