Helping Hands Free Community Football sessions is a centre piece of our summer programme. Running throughout the six weeks summer holidays, every night at five sites throughout Edinburgh, this offers kids the opportunity to get tops quality coaching in their own community.
Supported by UEFA qualified coaches and some of Scotland’s top professional players and ex players this initiative has been groundbreaking.
Every year we provided Free structured coaching to kids in Craigmillar, Muirhouse, Wester Hailes, Moredun and Leith.
Our summer programme ends with a Festival of Football. Bringing kids from different areas together. Helping Hands are all about breaking down social, geographic and economic barriers. Our 2019 Festival of Football was held at Hibernian Training Centre. We thank Hibernian FC for their hospitality and solidarity.
Our sessions are always free, open to all children aged 8-16 years old, irrespective of their parents ability to pay. All participants get free water, fruits and healthy snacks. All sessions are led by qualified coaches (PVG- Protecting Vulnerable Groups) supported by professional and former professional footballers and local volunteers. All Helping Hands volunteers are Disclosure Scotland compliant.
“I attended the Edinburgh Helping Hands event at the Meadows in Edinburgh when I was Hibernian manager, It was a wonderful idea and the event was run to help give children free football from less affluent areas of Edinburgh. To see the many hundreds of kids running, playing and smiling made it all worthwhile. This is a brilliant venture and glad to hear it’s continuing and I hope it does for many years.”- Neil Lennon, Manager Celtic FC
All equipment used in Helping Hands community football programme is then donated to the local community to be used by children throughout the year. All sessions are organised on an inclusive basis and reinforce positive social messages of anti-racism, dangers of drugs and encouraging positive healthy life choices.
Our sessions run for six weeks of the school holidays. At the end of the programme we host a special Festival of Football for all the children. This allows children from different communities and backgrounds to mix and play together in a secure and supported environment, breaking down economic, social and geographic barriers.
“Helping Hands is a great project in Edinburgh. Providing free football coaching to kids in housing schemes. I have attended some of Helping Hands events and seen how this programme benefits kids in these areas. I am delighted to see it continue.”- Darren McGregor, Footballer, Hibernian FC
Helping Hands Community Football Programme is part of our Health and Wellbeing strand. We thank our partners Social Bite, Irvine Welsh, Spartans FC, Currie FC, Edina Hibs, Edinburgh South CFC and Leith Athletic FC, Hanlon Stevenson Foundation and everyone who offered a Helping Hand.