» Big Hearts Positive Partnerships: Switching Play

Big Hearts Positive Partnerships: Switching Play

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At Big Hearts, we are committed to working with local schools to help to improve the lives of young people within our community.

Our Switching Play programme has been a huge success in schools across Edinburgh, making a positive impact on the pupils that have completed the programme.

Switching Play is an initiative for young people aged 13-16, who are feeling isolated, not fully engaging in school and have an interest in football and physical activities.

Two of the school’s we have worked with are Firrhill High School and Wester Hailes High School.

Rory Murray, Curriculum Team Leader in the wellbeing team at Firrhill High said: “I have a lot of thanks to give Big Hearts for this opportunity.

We have been particularly impressed with the empathetic and proactive support offered by the youth workers and the high ratio of Big Hearts staff in attendance each week.

There was always football involved in the programme, but our pupils also took part in gambling awareness and fire safety training and learned about healthy eating.

The feedback from the pupils is that they absolutely loved it. Even the Hibs fans in the groups would wear the free kit that Big Hearts provided! It made them feel part of something.”

Claire Dancer, Deputy Head Teacher at Wester Hailes High School has also commended Switching Play. She said: “Switching Play is a main positive about our partnership with Big Hearts, that’s a really good programme.

It’s really inclusive. We have sent boys and girls who all have various different barriers to school or education, and they have all really benefited from it.

We have definitely seen an increase in confidence in the group. For one lad, it was the only thing he would go to, and it was life changing.

“Partnerships like this are badly needed in Edinburgh, and we’ve got real confidence in Big Hearts and in the Switching Play programme.”

Switching Play is held in our community hub within Tynecastle Park, the home of Heart of Midlothian FC, one day per week.

For more information on referrals please contact our Project Manager Connor McNally on connor.mcnally@bighearts.org.uk or 07435 904 935.


– December 2023

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