Edinburgh’s two major football clubs are setting aside sporting rivalry and coming together in a campaign designed to make Edinburgh the Capital of Goodwill over Christmas.
Edinburgh Cheers is supported by the Edinburgh Evening News and Heart of Midlothian FC, through its Big Hearts Foundation, and Hibernian FC , Hibernian Community Foundation and NHS Lothian through their innovative GameChanger Public Social Partnership.
The two Clubs are hosting and supporting a series of events in their respective communities, with many of those being hosted at Tynecastle Park and Easter Road, all designed to harness the power of football to deliver positive social outcomes.
In addition, a number of events and initiatives will take place throughout December to help those in the city – young and old – who are homeless, who are suffering poor mental or physical health, or who are isolated or forgotten at this time of year, with NHS Lothian ensuring that important well-being messages are delivered as part of the campaign.
The city’s public, private and third sectors will come together to back the campaign with the aim of making Edinburgh a more caring and compassionate city.
The EDINBURGH CHEER campaign has received the backing of the Scottish Government’s Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell, who said: “It is tremendous to see two of Scotland’s biggest clubs, city rivals, coming together to promote such a positive message and to help create such a tremendous spirit at Christmas. Football – our national sport – can be a powerful force for good, and this initiative further highlights the great impact it can have in communities.”
Hearts Chairwoman and Big Hearts Trustee Ann Budge said: “The city’s two major football clubs coming together to lead this campaign will, we hope, encourage lots of people to get behind us to deliver Edinburgh Cheer this Christmas. While the two clubs are fierce rivals on the pitch, off the pitch we share similar values and a similar determination to use football to create better outcomes for people.
“Although we do have lots of passionate supporters, we really are only rivals for 90 minutes three or four times a season. Otherwise both clubs are totally committed to doing what they can for the community and to help the people of Edinburgh.”
Hibernian Chief Executive Leeann Dempster said: “We are delighted to be working with Heart of Midlothian to launch this campaign to make Edinburgh the Capital of Goodwill this Christmas, harnessing the power of football to deliver positive benefits. We are also thrilled that so many other organisations have expressed a desire to support the Edinburgh Cheer campaign, and we hope that supporters and all other citizens will sign up to help make Christmas a little kinder for all the people of Edinburgh.”
NHS Lothian Chief Executive Tim Davison said: “Football is Scotland’s national game, and we know the huge interest there is in the game and the influence that football can have. We are delighted to be working with the clubs on a campaign designed to help the well-being of all the people of Edinburgh, and to work with the Evening News to promote positive health messages.”
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You can play your part in making our city the Capital of Goodwill this Christmas
If you can do just one of these things, please let us know you are supporting us and sign up for our Edinburgh Cheer news letter at www.edinburghnews.com for campaign updates
Smile and say Happy Christmas
Traffic warden? Shop assistant? Fellow commuters? Share some festive spirit with the people you meet each day
Invite someone new for lunch
Maybe a neighbour who is on their own
Give a little of your time
Sign up for our Edinburgh Cheer news letter and see if you can help a local charity deliver a festive project in your neighbourhood
Spread the word about a good cause
Share it on Facebook and Twitter, tell your friends, and don’t forget to let us know so we can help #edincheer
Keep people warm on the streets
Watch out for details of how you can support our sleeping bag campaign for rough sleepers
Wish a Polish neighbour Wesolych Swiat
Or say feliz Navidad to a Spanish friend
Bring some joy to a dinner table
Donate much-needed supplies to a foodbank such as the one at your local Tesco
Make an older person on their own feel special
Send them a Christmas card through #VintageVibes VIP campaign
Sing with us
Join our Edinburgh Cheer choir for communal carol singing. Watch out for details of where and when.
Take the Edinburgh Cheer pledge