The Tartan Army Childrens Charity’s “My First Scotland Match” initiative was a fantastic success at last month’s match against Denmark at Hampden Park.

“My First Scotland Match”  is all about giving underprivileged kids the chance to attend their first Scotland match, where those involved receive a brand new Scotland shirt, flag, programme, some spending money for half-time and also a meal before the game.

We take look at three of the groups who experienced Scotland’s victory over Denmark at the national stadium:

Panmure St. Ann’s School - Edinburgh

Panmure St Anns is a special school in Edinburgh for young people between 14-16 who have failed to manage in mainstream school due to a variety of behavioural, social and emotional reasons caused by issues such as parental neglect or substance misuse, bereavement, exclusion due to behaviour or social isolation due to mental health or poverty issues. The school currently has a mixed roll of around 16 regular attenders and 16 who are receiving outreach teaching.

These children come from economically constrained backgrounds and would otherwise not experience a Scotland match and all the excitement that such a trip contains. The young people struggle to broaden their horizon beyond their local communities and even a trip to Glasgow is beyond most of their comprehension.

Andy Welsh – Groupworker at the school said:

“We had a great time!

“It was a trip that took all of them way out of their comfort zone and has been a valuable experience for them all.  All the young people were delighted with their Scotland tops. Given their personal circumstances it is something that they would have little opportunity to own.

“They all said thank you for taking them which is unusual for our young people and I would like to pass their thanks on to TACC as you made the trip possible."

Dumbarton Road Corridor Youth Project - Glasgow

The 'Dumbarton Road Corridor Youth Project' (DRCYP) works with socially excluded young people in the communities of Yoker, Scotstoun and Whiteinch to the west side of Glasgow. The project is responsive to the articulate needs of young people and the priorities identified by relevant agencies.

DRCYP aims to empower young people to take control of their lives, maximise the opportunities available to them and thereby live their lives to their fullest potential through developmental youth work methodologies. They use a young person-centred approach and offer non-judgemental and confidential space to allow young people to address the issues that affect them in their day-to-day lives.

They offer ongoing support to their members and encourage young people to participate in a range of activities and initiatives (often related to: health and wellbeing, territorial issues, drugs and alcohol misuse, bullying, gambling awareness etc.)

The TACC 'My First Scotland Match' initiative provides an opportunity for the young people they encounter to experience an event that could have a major impact on their lives.

DRCYP work together with young people who are socially excluded and who often, do not leave the confines of their area. Leaving their local area is a big step, but one that can have a positive impact on a young person. Watching a Scotland game would be a massive confidence boost for members. Being offered the opportunity to attend a big game would open their eyes to a new experience that can be exhilarating. Our members often experience chaotic lifestyles in their home lives and a match day experience would provide respite from such issues.

Gerard Espie, Youth Development & Employability Worker: 

“I just wanted to thank the Tartan Army Childrens Charity for all your support. The group were delighted with their strips, tenner, flags, tickets, seats and the victory!”

Kilmarnock FC Community Development
Ayrshire Children’s Services

TACC are working with Paul Di Giacomo and Brian Sproul at Kilmarnock FC Community Dept. as part of our TACC FC programme. They, supported by Ayrshire Children’s Services, were able to identify children who are impaired with multiple and very complex issues.

Nicola Hume, Service Manager, Ayrshire Children’s Services CIC (ACS):

“I would just like to say a huge thanks for the tickets and football tops given to Ayrshire Children’s Services young people and staff. 

“They had a great time and a bonus seeing Scotland win!  Parents and kids were so grateful for the opportunity and asked me to pass that on to everyone at TACC.  These types of opportunities and experience don’t come along very often for our children due to their complex needs.”