» Gratitude: making memories at Hampden

Gratitude: making memories at Hampden

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Last week’s initiative ‘Taking Big Hearts to Hampden’ saw thousands of Jambos donating money or match tickets to help other fans who would not have made the semi-final otherwise.

Those who benefited from the outstanding kindness and generosity came from various backgrounds, including families and individuals across Big Hearts’ programmes, groups supported by partner organisations, pupils from local high schools and fans who contacted our charity for help.

Below is a selection of stories and feedback. Check out the photos gallery at the bottom of the page!


__Kinship Care

“The last time I was at Hampden was 8 years ago! I love Hampden, it’s a big atmosphere, a big Stadium – Scotland’s international stadium no less! It was fab – the whole day. In the Big Hearts’ bus I was sitting next to Laurence, who volunteers with Big Hearts. We had a laugh. The minute he started singing, the whole bus followed!  At the end of the day whatever the score, I got to support my club with my dad and my daughter MJ. She loves Big Hearts. She’s done so many activities with the Kinship Care group. Sunday was our first ever football game together. First time supporting the Hearts’ first team for her! She got to watch the women’s derby at Tynecastle. I didn’t think football would be something she loved, but she enjoyed every minute of it. I want to do that again, go watch Hearts play together, perhaps next season. MJ stays with my mum during the week, so last Sunday was special. It was amazing to be able to share that with her.” – Belinda B.



“We are a BME (black minority ethnic) community organisation that uses sport to help people navigate societal challenges. We would like to say thank you to every person who donated to the Big Hearts’ initiative – which allowed us to bring 3 buses of young people and families to watch the semi-final at Hampden last weekend. For most of them, it was the first time witnessing a football game, live from the stands at Hampden Stadium, and they were very excited to get to cheer on the Hearts’ first team squad! Beyond the result, it was fantastic for them to meet other families involved with our organisation: travel together, be part of that supporters’ experience as a community. Being able to attend the game helped strengthen the bond and relationship with each other. They appreciated the opportunity and had a really great time. Once again thank you to any Hearts’ fan who helped make this possible for our young people and families. It’s an experience that will never be forgotten.” – Isaac A. Project Coordinator


__The Changing Room

“It was brilliant, thanks so much. All the other guys who attended The Changing Room with me.were there too, I bumped into a few. Some of them I hadn’t seen in 2 years! We had a good chat. It was really good to catch up. About 10 of us were sitting together in the stands, not far from folks who were also in the bus and the Gorgie Ultras too. It was just a very nice atmosphere throughout. In the Stadium the Hearts’ end felt quite full. It felt good to show the team that fans were here. With the food voucher I got a doner kebab pie – my first time! That was amazing. What wonderful occasions semi-finals and finals at Hampden are when you’re a Hearts’ fan. My dad took me to my first one in 1986. I hadn’t been to Hampden since 2019. It was a real bonus, thank you.” – Nick M.

“I wanted to take a moment to express my heartfelt thanks for the incredible gift of the Semi Final tickets and coach travel. Your generosity and thoughtfulness are truly remarkable, and I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to attend such a thrilling event. Your support means the world to me, and I am so appreciative of everything you do. The memories made on that day will forever be cherished, and I am immensely grateful for your role in making it all possible. Thank you again for your kindness and for making this experience one that I will never forget.” – Bryan M.


__Warm Welcome

“I had a nice day, it was good fun. On the bus I enjoyed singing with Belinda and MJ. My hotdog at Hamoden was good! Thank you for my new Hearts scarf! When can we do it all over again?” – Laurence T.

“It was a very good day. I was disappointed about the result, but I made new friends with the people on the Big Hearts bus. We sang, we laughed, it was amazing. If I had the opportunity I would love to go again.” – Carl B.



“Just a quick message to say thank you. Thank you so much for giving me and my daughter the best day ever. To us the result doesn’t matter, the spending time with my daughter at the football has honestly been the best. I really can’t thank you all enough for this.”

“I never got photos as I left my phone in the car so I was living like it was the late 80s and living in the moment. However I would like to say thank you very much for the experience. My Dad who had never been to Hampden got to experience a semi final while also creating memories as a family. Something we won’t forget.”

“My mum told me about the semi-final tickets the day before. I was so excited, you should have seen me running about and trying to find my Hearts scarf! I really appreciate this and wouldn’t have been able to go otherwise.”

“A quick note of appreciation to all of your colleagues at Big Hearts. I made really positive phone calls to some of our most challenging kids’ families. Having a day out with your mum or dad, free of financial constraints, will be cherished by so many of our kids.”

“Thank you to Big Hearts. A while ago I faced struggles that affected my mental health. I’m in a much better place now. In fact, thanks to Big Hearts, I was able to invite my neighbour’s adult son to the match today. The wounds are healing.”


PHOTO GALLERY BELOW – Click on each photo to see them in larger size.

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