Big Hearts have become the first charity in Scottish Football to receive the 'Investing in Volunteers' Award.
Big Hearts Community Trust hosted their 2017 Annual General Meeting this evening, sharing the key-successes that will help the charity achieve ambitious plans for 2018. The event welcomed Big Hearts volunteers and partners, Heart of Midlothian fans and leaders from the third sector and representatives of the Scottish Government.
Big Hearts revealed that they had just received the 'Investing in Volunteers’ Award - the UK quality standard for good practice in volunteer management, becoming the first football club charity in Scotland recognised by the prestigious accreditation.
After a 12 month process, during which nine areas of Big Hearts’ Volunteering programme were assessed, Heart of Midlothian’s official charity received the three-year accreditation that recognises its strong commitment to volunteers and the high quality of the opportunities and resources offered to Big Hearts Supporters.
This is the second time that Big Hearts’ unique football fans engagement initiative - the Big Hearts Supporters Movement - breaks ground in Scottish football. It was launched only 20 months ago, with the aim to empower supporters of the club to make a positive difference within their community. To date, over 150 volunteers are supporting Big Hearts or partner charities.
Billy Watson, Big Hearts’ Chairman, said:
“This year Big Hearts Supporters and volunteers have helped the charity extend its reach beyond expectations: the numbers involved - over 2,700 hours of volunteering - are in the highest order within the charity sector.
"We are delighted to reveal tonight that our successful football supporters initiative, which is already unique in Scottish Football, breaks yet another ground by receiving the ‘Investing in Volunteers’ Award.”
Craig Wilson, Big Hearts’ Interim General Manager, said:
“Achieving the ‘Inspiring in Volunteers’ Award this October, just few months after our nomination to the Scottish Charity Awards, demonstrates once again that our community of Big Hearts Supporters is one of our biggest strengths.
"We are very grateful and always committed to all Hearts fans who chose to use their time and skills to make a positive difference in their community. Thank you.”
Big Hearts' Annual General Update for 2017 is now available online: http://online.fliphtml5.com/wnfua/mppg/#p=1