Hearts & Balls was conceived in 1999 when a player from the Lismore Rugby Club in Edinburgh suffered a serious spinal injury that left him paralysed.
Having run a highly successful appeal, Lismore decided to widen its support to cover other players impacted by serious injury or illness. Thus, Hearts & Balls came into being with the aim of ‘helping rugby help its own’.
Since its beginnings in 1999, we have donated in the region of £450,000 to rugby players and their families. Through advice and advocacy, we also help them identify and apply for funds from other sources.
The kind of support we are able to offer includes:
- new wheelchairs for players with spinal injuries
- specialist mattresses for players with spinal injuries
- adapting the home and garden of a spinally-injured player
- car insurance for a specialist vehicle for a spinally-injured player
- an additional carer to accompany a spinally-injured player on holiday
- mortgage interest payments for the wife and young children of a player who died from a heart problem when playing rugby
- specialist IT equipment for a spinally-injured player returning to study
- legal costs of setting up a trust for an injured player
We also work with national and international bodies and charities to help provide specialist vehicles and other equipment.