Stronger Communities

Building increased resilience and capacity in our communities is a key aim for GameChanger, and we work with a range of partners to achieve this through our weekly lunch club, our work in promoting positive mental health and on suicide prevention, and through our Christmas kindness campaign, Edinburgh Cheer.

Our work on promoting awareness of death, Absent Friends, has won a national award.

Lunch Club

The GameChanger Lunch Club is a partnership project between GameChanger and Cyrenians aiming to reduce social isolation and loneliness.

Using the power of football and Easter Road Stadium as the base for the lunch club, it is providing a free nutritious 2 course meal every week to dozens, allowing individuals and families to have something to eat as well as someone to eat with, therefore making eating a positive social experience.

The lunch club has grown from an occasional event to a regular weekly schedule, with numbers of both service users and volunteers growing.

The Lunch Club supports the building of community, allowing new friendships to be created and an increase in feelings of self-esteem and confidence amongst those who attend. It is for persons of all ages and there are opportunities for those who are interested in learning cooking skills and volunteering to help out in the preparation and cooking of the meal for the local community.

Choose Life

The annual GameChanger Choose Life football tournament is hosted at Hibernian Training Centre in East Lothian, and sees up to 20 seven-a-side teams from throughout Scotland participate in a tournament aimed at promoting suicide prevention and positive mental health, with charities engaged in the sector in attendance. The tournament winners take part in a half-time penalty shoot-out at a home match at Easter Road, which approximately coincides with World Mental Health Day, and which sees a big focus on mental health activity for the day.

AROUND 200 TAKE PART IN TOURNAMENT; AROUND 18,000 CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT GOOD MENTAL HEALTH AT MENTAL HEALTH MATCHDAY

Absent Friends

During Absent Friends week GameChanger worked with NHS Lothian palliative care staff. For two home matches each year Club supporters are invited to write messages to Absent Friends, stick up photographs or make what tribute they felt was appropriate.

Hundreds take part in the award-winning initiative each October. A wide range of sentiments are expressed around memories, missing, remembrance and – interestingly – how shared support of Hibernian had helped on a remarkable 272 occasions. The mention of the Club was second only to the naming of the individuals concerned, demonstrating again the power of football to reach out and touch people.

Edinburgh Cheer

We are working with the Evening News to make Edinburgh a very special place this Christmas. Our Edinburgh Cheecampaign aims to make Edinburgh the kindest place it can be at Christmas, and the stadium is opened to all-comers for a meal on Christmas Day.  

2000 PEOPLE FED THROUGH OUR CHRISTMAS HAMPERS, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH DESTINY ANGELS

NEWS