Big Hearts Community Trust is inviting applications from qualified individuals to join its board of trustees.
Traditionally, role-specific appointments have been made on an invitation-only basis, but as part of reflecting the changing circumstances at Tynecastle, with the path to fan ownership set via the Foundation of Hearts, the charity’s board now believe the time is right to open applications.
This is an important moment for Big Hearts. In 2014, the charity launched a brand-new strategy that saw grassroots football development return to the club for the first time in nearly ten years. Big Hearts then went on to focus on “family” as part of a strong commitment to look at what football can do for those in need, not the other way around. This involved using the power of football, Tynecastle and the Hearts crest to engage and support families in need.
As a result, Big Hearts now boasts the strongest staff team in the history of the charity, as well as clear objectives for the future and a new three-year plan set to be rolled out from April 2018, of which the early stages are now in the process of being implemented.
Big Hearts’ new strategy will seek further growth and impact with an increasing number of beneficiaries in targeted communities and populations where socially isolated groups exist, for example those affected by poverty, those seeking refuge and asylum and a number of BME groups. These new areas of focus will complement existing activity involving kinship care families and older people. It is expected that new programmes will continue to be rolled out, with the charity using objective analysis to identify needs.
Supporting all of this is a remarkable volunteering programme: Big Hearts Supporters. Over 1,700 supporters have signed up to support the charity, of whom 10% are now actively involved in volunteering. Collectively this group has delivered over 2,400 hours of volunteering this year.
Billy Watson, chief executive at the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) chairs the board of trustees at Big Hearts, having taken on the role at the end of 2016. He is joined by Lawrence Broadie (marketing & communications), Tim Gardiner (finance), David Sellar (legal), and Ann Budge (representing Hearts).
Commenting on the launch of the process Big Hearts chair Billy Watson said:
“We’ve made significant progress in the last three years with a bold, inventive programme of activity and engagement which responds to genuine need in families across Edinburgh and beyond.
“In the last year or so two of our trustees have moved on, and so this is a natural moment to refresh our group. We look forward to welcoming applicants with relevant experience, along with energy and enthusiasm to support our relatively small charity do some very big things.”
Everyone interested to get involved is encouraged to look at the recruitment pack below. The closing date for applications is Friday 6 October at 5pm.