Club News

More Families to Benefit from a Strong Big Hearts

12th December 2016

Big Hearts host AGM, revealing that the charity has never been in a stronger position to support families in need across Edinburgh.

Our official charity, Big Hearts Community Trust, today hosted their Annual General Meeting at Tynecastle Stadium, revealing that the charity has never been in a stronger position to support families in need across Edinburgh.

Hearts’ supporters, Big Hearts’ volunteers, other charity leaders and representatives of the Scottish Government were in attendance to hear Big Hearts General Manager, Caryn Kerr, explain the key highlights of 2016 for the charity and the plans for the next 12 months.

Key Highlights:

  • Establishment and growth of our Kinship Care Programme which has seen unprecedented numbers of families engaged and strong outcomes for families receiving a range of direct and in-direct support, depending on their needs.
  • Growth and management of the Football Memories Programme – two groups now running at capacity, with a waiting list of new participants. New team of Big Hearts volunteers recruited and trained to support this increase in activity.
  • Launch of the Big Hearts Supporter Movement and Volunteer Programme – over 1,100 Supporters signed up with over 80% expressing an interest in volunteering. Over 100 volunteers over course of 2016.

As the charity move in 2017 it was revealed that with support from a 100% grant from the Big Lottery Fund, Big Hearts will engage with independent consultants to review its work to date and to help determine a process as to how they “identify need” in future. This will mean continuing to develop and expand existing programmes as well as looking at where the new strands of support for families in need will be established.

During the AGM, it was also revealed that Jim Panton has stepped down as Chairman and from the Big Hearts’ board, with existing Trustee and SAMH Chief Executive, Billy Watson appointed in his place.

Big Hearts annual update for 2016 is available online at:

General Manager Caryn Kerr said:

“It has been a fantastic 2016 for Big Hearts. We’ve engaged with more families in need than ever before and have received some great feedback across the last 12 months. The challenge for us now is to identify a clear model which we can use to identify need and this is key as we look to offer a new strand of support in 2017.”