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Big Hearts is delighted to be taking part in the Christmas campaign launched today by the Edinburgh Evening News! Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian are setting aside sporting rivalry and coming together in the EDINBURGH CHEER campaign, designed to make Edinburgh the Capital of Goodwill over Christmas. It is the first time in Scotland that major football rivals co-operate to deliver a campaign of this nature.

EDINBURGH CHEER is supported by the Evening News, Heart of Midlothian FC and Big Hearts Community Trust,  Hibernian FC, Hibernian Community Foundation and NHS Lothian through their Gamechanger partnership.

Throughout December, the two Clubs and their charities are hosting and supporting a series of events to harness the power of football to deliver positive social outcomes, with many initiatives being hosted at Tynecastle Park and Easter Road. A number of local charities and organisations will also receive help to host their own Christmas events.

In addition, further initiatives will be launched to help those most in need across the city – young and old – who are homeless, who are suffering poor mental or physical health, who are isolated or struggling at this time of year, with NHS Lothian ensuring that important well-being messages are delivered as part of the campaign.

The city’s public, private and third sectors will come together to back the campaign with the aim of making Edinburgh a more caring and compassionate city at Christmas time.

The EDINBURGH CHEER Campaign received the backing of the Scottish Government’s Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell, who said: “It is tremendous to see two of Scotland’s biggest clubs, city rivals, coming together to promote such a positive message and to help create such a tremendous spirit at Christmas. Football – our national sport – can be a powerful force for good, and this initiative further highlights the great impact it can have in communities.

Hearts Chairwoman and Big Hearts Trustee Ann Budge said: “The city’s two major football clubs coming together to lead this campaign will, we hope, encourage lots of people to get behind us to deliver Edinburgh Cheer this Christmas. While the two clubs are fierce rivals on the pitch, off the pitch we share similar values and a similar determination to use football to create better outcomes for people.”
“Although we do have lots of passionate supporters, we really are only rivals for 90 minutes three or four times a season. Otherwise both clubs are totally committed to doing what they can for the community and to help the people of Edinburgh.”

Hibernian Chief Executive Leeann Dempster said: “We are delighted to be working with Heart of Midlothian to launch this campaign to make Edinburgh the Capital of Goodwill this Christmas, harnessing the power of football to deliver positive benefits. We are also thrilled that so many other organisations have expressed a desire to support the Edinburgh Cheer campaign, and we hope that supporters and all other citizens will sign up to help make Christmas a little kinder for all the people of Edinburgh.

NHS Lothian Chief Executive Tim Davison said: “Football is Scotland’s national game, and we know the huge interest there is in the game and the influence that football can have. We are delighted to be working with the clubs on a campaign designed to help the well-being of all the people of Edinburgh, and to work with the Evening News to promote positive health messages.”

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