Big Hearts Community Trust, the official charity of the club, recently held the largest celebration of Kinship Care in Scotland to date, with a Kinship Family Day at Tynecastle Stadium.
Over 300 guests 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 some of the Hearts first team squad and were also joined by the club’s owner and Big Hearts’ Trustee Ann Budge.
Since October 2015 Big Hearts has provided ongoing support to Kinship Care Families through their programme which includes a weekly after school club, school holiday activities and tickets for Kinship Families at Hearts’ home matches. A key part of the programme is also to raise awareness of Kinship Care.
Big Hearts were also delighted to announce the launch of a new strand of support at the Family Day, a befriending service for Kinship Care young people. This service will be supported by around 15 Big Hearts Volunteers, many of whom are Hearts’ season ticket holders. The Big Hearts Befriending Service will be ran in partnership with the Broomhouse Centre who aim to provide personal, social and community development opportunities for disadvantaged groups.
Big Hearts General Manager, Caryn Kerr:
“We were delighted to see so many Kinship Care Families having a fantastic time together at Tynecastle today. We know how important a role Kinship Care now plays across Scotland but recognise the challenges that this can bring. What we aim to do is provide support whilst raising awareness of the great work that Kinship Carers do.”
“With us getting involved, along with our lead partner Mentor, we’ve been able to identify families who have effectively been “hidden” and accessing little or no support. The draw of holding events at Tynecastle and the connection with one of Scotland’s biggest football club’s helps reduce stigma and we know the families love getting involved.”