Heart of Midlothian Football Club
Established in 1847, Heart of Midlothian is Edinburgh’s oldest football club. Based in the west of Edinburgh the club has 120 employees.
Heart of Midlothian Football Club has developed community partnerships to motivate, educate and inspire tens of thousands of children and adults within their local community.
Through the Heart of Midlothian Education and Community Trust they are delivering community projects that address key social issues affecting the community’s potential to be educated and healthy through the medium of sport.
They have created strong partnerships with the City of Edinburgh Council, Heriot-Watt University, Sport Scotland, the Health Education Board Scotland and Lothian and Borders police
There are five key areas to The Heart of Midlothian Education and Community Trust and all involve leveraging support from employees and players:
- Grassroots Sport - in conjunction with the City of Edinburgh Council they aim to provide more opportunities in schools for children to participate in football, through target specific coaching schemes
- Club Development - youth football clubs in the capital provide opportunities for thousands of children to play football. Heart of Midlothian Football Club supports these clubs and helps them to grow by lending the expertise their coaches possesses, as well as, facilities and equipment
- Healthy Communities - in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, they have created a programme of activities and events which tackle the problem of anti-social behaviour
- Healthy Lifestyles – using Heart of Midlothian's players as role models they have developed a healthy lifestyle presentation for schools, an inspirational tool for children and teachers
- Education – the trust has developed an extensive literacy and numeracy programme for children to encourage the development of academic and life skills
Employees are involved across the breadth of programmes, and the company sets aside time for employees requiring support to attend activities delivered by the Education and Community Trust, including attendances at breakfast clubs, programme launches and presentation evenings.
A key project is the AEGON Breakfast Club, an initiative which aims to give Edinburgh schoolchildren a healthy breakfast to start the day. This project is delivered via a three way partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council and AEGON.
Another project supported by Hearts targeted at young people is Kick Start, an initiative launched by the Scottish Government through the Scottish Premier League to help young Scots who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs). Classroom based programmes are delivered at Tynecastle Stadium and coaching sessions at the Hearts Football Academy at Heriot Watt University.
Programmes such as these are particularly relevant in the current economic climate and talent gap, as too many young Scots are slipping through the net, leaving the education system and falling into joblessness. The Club and Local Authority partner meet regularly to discuss the programme, and there is regular monitoring of course participants to evaluate the success of the programme and make improvements where necessary. The Club aims to target 60 14-16 year old pupils per year through this project.
The club has recognised that it is in a unique position to target people of all ages through football.
- The club can spot future football talent early
- Working with partners improves relationships and funding opportunities
- Employees enjoy volunteering and making a positive difference to individuals lives
- Community knowledge is increased
- Young pupil have a greater understanding of how a healthy diet and active lifestyle a positive choices
- Youth club football skills and team performance are improved