» Off the Bench back for a 2nd year: Registration open now!

Off the Bench back for a 2nd year: Registration open now!

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Referrals are now open for the next 12-week course, which is due to start in February 2022.

Off the Bench is a groundbreaking initiative run in partnership with the SPFL Trust, for 16 to 24 year olds. The course offers opportunities to gain SFA Coaching badges, SQA Employability qualifications and volunteering experience, for those who are looking for a fresh start to build a better path going forward.

If you are interested in signing up or would like to refer a young adult, please contact connor.mcnally@bighearts.org.uk

Earlier this year Big Hearts welcomed a small group of participants to Tynecastle Park, the home of Heart of Midlothian FC to take part in the first bloc of the course. Over a 3-month period the young people got to spend one day a week together at the Stadium and gained a host of new skills. Off the Bench offers young adults aged 16 to 24 volunteering opportunities and qualifications to help them build for a better future.

The first bloc of the course was successfully completed in November 2021, with great feedback from both staff and participants.

One of the Big Hearts Staff said, “A young lad came on the first day and was very quiet, but after a few sessions he got to know the other participants and started to engage in various activities. Now he has achieved the certification via the course and I’m confident he will have a bright future ahead of him.”

One of the young adults who attended said, “Coming to Tynecastle Park every Wednesday to attend Off The Bench was my favourite time of the week. It’s not like going to school, it’s an open discussion with the Big Hearts staff and there is a mix of learning and playing football.”

An Open Day will take place on Wednesday 26th January 2022. There will be two sessions where you can find out more about what Off the Bench has to offer.

You can attend the session of your choice:

  • 1pm – 2pm, in person at Tynecastle Park
  • 3pm – 4pm, virtually via Zoom.


If you would like to attend, you must book a space in advance. Bookings can be made here.


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