Big Hearts - Latcham
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Big Hearts Community Trust 

Big Hearts are one of Scotland’s leading football charities. Operating from Tynecastle Park, home of Heart of Midlothian FC, they use the power of the beautiful game to improves lives across the communities they serve.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Big Hearts supported over 100 people at the stadium every week, provided 8 free support programmes, and had over 250 active volunteers and fundraisers per season.

The challenge

When the pandemic hit, the charity found themselves in the situation where, on one hand, they had a large number of supporters with time on their hands, and on the other, vulnerable people at home isolated.

Big Hearts were overwhelmed with offers from supporters willing to do ‘anything to help’ – so they approached Latcham to deliver a campaign to reach their oldest, most vulnerable and hardest to reach demographics. With 49% of UK football fans saying the sense of belonging they get from attending games is important for their mental health, Big Hearts wanted to ensure vulnerable people, who were no longer able to attend games, still felt a sense of belonging.

They wanted to answer the question – 

“How can we maintain relationships remotely for those who usually benefit from a weekly social outing at the football?”

The campaign

Big Hearts wanted a trusted partner to deliver this campaign, and as a provider of creative design, print, mailing and digital, Latcham were well served to deliver it. Big Hearts decided a few things were necessary for this campaign:

A return to print – to tackle inequality
A customised gift – to show they cared
A trusted partner – to coordinate production

The campaign had two elements – Supporter Packs and Memories at Home packs. 

The Big Hearts Supporters Thank You Pack

This was sent to supporters’ homes on Volunteers’ Week, so was extremely time critical.

It contained –

  • Customised letter signed by Volunteer Manager
  • Exclusive copy of the latest charity’s Impact Report, detailing what other fundraisers and supporters were doing during the pandemic
  • Limited edition branded snood / face covering

‘Memories at Home’ dementia packs

The Memories at Home packs were delivered via a much a longer campaign, fortnightly for 15 months.

The project was funded by a variety of charitable sources, including Scottish Government Covid-`9 Community Wellbeing Fund, SCVO Communities Recovery Fund, Impact Funding Partners and National Lottery Awards for All.

37 volunteers were involved in crafting the packs, which contained over 146 original articles, written by fans for fans. These were sent out to 200 home addresses.

Each parcel contained:

  • A customised letter
  • Printed Gazette 
  • Set of 10 postcards
  • Tea bags and biscuits
  • Game sheets (special issues)

The response was fantastic...

Outcomes

As well as the positive feedback from community members receiving the packs, Big Hearts reported a number of other positive outcomes, including:

Increased volunteering and community fundraising
New relationships with corporate and younger audiences
A reaffirmation of position as the charitable arm of the football club
Some key metrics highlighting these positive outcomes are:
Big Hearts Community Trust 30% increase in active volunteers
101% increase in individual fundraisers
33% increase in individual giving at Christmas
89% increase in reminiscence sessions at Tynecastle Park compared to pre-pandemic

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