Big Hearts yesterday launched its brand new Kinship Care Programme at Tynecastle with an open day for Kinship Care families. This is the latest step in the rebuilding of Heart of Midlothian in the community and is a significant milestone for the club’s official charity.
Following the refocus of the charity last year, Big Hearts is now dedicated to delivering a new and ambitious family-focused strategy which will use the power of the club’s crest to better support and improve outcomes for vulnerable families across Edinburgh and surrounding areas.
The first brand new “family” programme is focussing on supporting kinship care families, a priority area which was identified with key stakeholders such as Edinburgh Council and Mentor.
The family day was attended by over 100 kinship care families who had access to many exciting activities including football coaching, music tuition, games and stadium tours. There was also a fantastic marketplace of stalls providing a wide range of information for carers.
The families were also met on the day by Hearts stars’ Soufian El Hassnaoui and Arnaud Djoum, as well as the club’s record goalscorer John Robertson.
The ‘Big Hearts Kinship Care after school club’, a key component of the kinship care programme, begins on Tuesday 27th October and will be run weekly in partnership with leading kinship care charity, Mentor.
Big Hearts General Manager, Caryn Kerr, explained how important a milestone the launch is for the charity: "We are delighted to have launched our flagship kinship care programme with our Kinship Family Day. The feedback we have received has been excellent and we hope to continue to build a programme that will make a real difference to these families.
“Kinship care support was identified as a major area of need in our community during our strategic review and we are delighted to be making this a reality.”
Mentor’s Scotland Director Heather McVeigh said: “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Big Hearts to drive forward the awareness and support for kinship care families. It is fantastic that a major football club is using its credence to promote kinship care and provide opportunities and activities that many kinship children and carers would never be able to access. ”