NI's largest children's heart charity
Winner of the ‘Family Support Organisation of the Year Award’, at the 2012 Ni4kids Family Awards the Children’s Heartbeat Trust is a local Northern Irish charity that provides emotional and practical support to parents and families affected by heart disease in children.
Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect in Northern Ireland with on average 250 cases per year. Roughly one third of these children will require open heart surgery or other interventional procedures.
Set up in the early 1980s as a parent support group, the organisation has developed into Northern Ireland’s largest children’s heart charity, working to ensure that each child and family receives the support and information that they need to cope with this illness. The charity manages some fifteen family support groups, providing continuous advice and support for families with sick children as well as parents of those who have just been recently diagnosed.
Working closely with Clark Clinic at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children (RBHSC), the charity funds top quality medical equipment, initiatives and research ensuring that children with heart disease in Northern Ireland receive the best care and treatment possible.
The Children’s Heartbeat Trust is one of four charities running the £2 million Children’s MRI Scanner Appeal. This appeal is vitally important for enhancing the diagnosis and treatment of sick children in Northern Ireland. The RBHSC is the only children’s hospital in UK and Ireland without an MRI scanner which means there is currently limited access to MRI for these children. Children who do receive scans are referred to another department in the adult hospitals or may even be transferred to another hospital outside of Northern Ireland. So far £1 million has been raised thanks to the public’s generosity!
A central aim of the charity is to provide family support. The local support groups are key to this, however the charity also organises family outings throughout the year to give families in Northern Ireland the opportunity to meet each other in a social and relaxed environment. The charity believe that the right information and support can really help families affected by heart disease in children.
To find out more about the work of the Children’s Heartbeat Trust call 07584 164 815; email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.childrensheartbeattrust.org.
To donate £3 to the Children’s MRI Scanner Appeal text SCAN £3 to 70444.
Captions for pics:
Sam Hill (6) from Newtownstewart is pictured with Sarah Quinlan from the Children’s Heartbeat Trust as he gives Super Scan man a ‘high five’ to celebrate the announcement that the ‘Children’s MRI Scanner Appeal’, has raised £1m of the £2m needed to purchase an MRI Scanner for the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.
Katie Kirkpatrick (7) enjoying a family day out at a 4x4 Off Road day.
Little Tom Marshall (2) with his dad Paul at a Children's Heartbeat Trust family day out in W5
Sarah Quinlan and Katie Boyd of the Children’s Heartbeat Trust receiving the Ni4kids Award for Family Support Organisation of the Year from Chair of the family awards judging panel and CEO of Children in Northern Ireland, Pauline Leeson and award sponsor Family Media Group board member Peter Greene.