Big Hearts supports Amnesty UK’s Football Welcomes Weekend
Big Hearts Community Trust, Heart of Midlothian’s official charity partner, is proud to be backing Amnesty UK’s Football Welcomes initiative this weekend to celebrate the strong connections between refugees and the beautiful game.
For many refugee players, football helped them adjust to a new country and culture as they and their families rebuilt their lives in safety. Supported by a range of Scottish Premier League Clubs, the EFL and a number of grassroots groups, the Football Welcomes campaign aims to highlights the role football clubs and football charities in the UK play in welcoming refugees and asylum seekers and promoting integration.
In 2017 Big Hearts launched a new area of focus to support young people and families who are from multi-cultural communities or have recently arrived in Edinburgh, leading to:
– The launch of a new programme of support: the T.E.A.M Project in partnership with Multi-Cultural Family Base.
– A number of free match tickets for Hearts games donated to Syrian refugees through The Welcoming Association.
– Securing free places at Hearts holiday courses for Syrian children referred by the Edinburgh Council’s Syrian Resettlement Programme.
Craig Wilson, General Manager at Big Hearts said:
“At Big Hearts we support local families who are at a high risk of social isolation and that include a number of them who have recently resettled in Scotland. From access to holiday football courses for young people to free match tickets for the whole family, we’ve been offering a range of opportunities for those families to make more connections in their new neighbourhood.
As we are about to celebrate our first year of the T.E.A.M Project, we are committed to keep working with the Club, local organisations and charity partners to build a local community where all cultures and backgrounds thrive together.”
Naomi Westland, Football Welcomes Manager at Amnesty International UK said:
“We are delighted that Big Hearts Community Trust is taking part in Football Welcomes this year. Football can give people a sense of purpose and belonging, and football clubs are at the heart of our towns and cities and have an important role to play in welcoming refugees and helping to promote respect, understanding and integration.”