THE SPFL TRUST’S “Trusted Trophy Tour” yesterday visited Big Hearts Community Trust and Heart of Midlothian FC on the first stop of a unique project to highlight the amazing work of professional clubs in Scotland.
This comes as the SPFL Trust (Scottish Professional Football League Trust) sets an ambitious target for clubs to engage one million people through community engagement every year, to be achieved over the next five years.
Currently, the SPFL Trust and all 42 member clubs engage with an estimated 710,000 individuals every year. This reflects around 13% of Scotland’s population, according to research conducted by the SPFL (Scottish Professional Football League) in 2016.
In November, the SPFL Trust launched its Legacy 2014 Report, which documented the work of 40 clubs – including every Ladbrokes Premiership team – following £500,000 of funding.
Delivered as part of the Scottish Government’s programme of legacy following Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games, clubs were tasked with identifying need in their own local community.
In total, 30,596 people benefitted from support across a range of programmes including:
- 3,000 young people in rural communities supported
- 260 young people in NEET group in Life Skills Programmes
- 520 accredited qualifications achieved
- 36 employment opportunities initiated
- 36 prisoners engaged in life skills programmes at HMP Dumfries & HMP Barlinnie
- 185 volunteer opportunities crated
- 88 people with disabilities taking part in sport
- People aged two to 90 reached
- 250 schools involved
- 73 elderly & socially isolated people engaged weekly
The SPFL Trust strongly believes that Scottish football can deliver outstanding results for Scotland, with a particular focus on reaching individuals and groups in the hardest to reach sections of society.
As the official charity partner of Hearts FC, Big Hearts delivers an ambitious family-focused strategy which uses the power of the club’s crest to make a positive difference to the lives of vulnerable individuals across Edinburgh and surrounding areas. Big Hearts aims to support all generations in the community by leading, coordinating and facilitating meaningful activities where need is identified.
Today’s visit focused on the Kinship Care After School Club, taking place twice a week at Tynecastle. We saw children enjoying a range of engaging activities while their carers met around a cup of coffee and received support from Big Hearts’ partner Mentor. At the end of the session, families reunited to eat a healthy and nutritious meal together.
Joining participants were first team stars Isma Goncalves and Malaury Martin.
Nicky Reid, General Manager at the SPFL Trust comments:
“It was fantastic to visit Heart of Midlothian FC for the first stop of our SPFL Trust “Trusted Trophy Tour”. Like all of our clubs, there is some amazing work going on at Tynecastle.
“The SPFL Trust firmly believe that we can help our clubs to reach our ambitious one million target over the next five years.
“There are now have 22 clubs with registered charities, whilst many others do equally fantastic work. Community activity has grown exponentially over the last ten years. We believe there are two reasons for this: the clubs are able to access people who simply don’t respond to traditional programmes of activity, and then when we reach them we’re able to support significant life changes; we can and are trusted to deliver.
“In a climate where funding is ever more difficult, we’re hopeful that key stakeholders recognise just what it is possible for us to do. We have an amazing opportunity – because it is not just an aspiration - for our clubs to form the most community engaged league in the world. And who benefits in that circumstance? The people of Scotland.”
Craig Wilson, General Manager at Big Hearts Community Trust comments:
‘’We were delighted to welcome the SPFL Trust at Tynecastle today. Big Hearts’ range of support for Kinship Care families has again significantly increased in the last couple of month, with the launch of a second weekly After School Club and a new befriending service for Kinship Care young people between 7 and 14 years old.’’
‘’This was a great opportunity for us to once again share the amazing work of our Kinship Care Programme and particularly the impact of our After School Club which welcomes 20 different families at Tynecastle every week.’’
‘’Since the launch of Big Hearts’ Kinship Care Programme in 2015, close to 200 families have taken part in at least one strand of the programme.’’