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Charity of the month: British Heart Foundation

PUBLISHED: 09:51 21 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:51 21 May 2018

Herts resident Kieran Sandwell, 46, was born with a major heart defect and had a heart transplant at the age of 38. He began walking the entire coastline of Britain last February to raise awareness and funds for the British Heart Foundation (photo: BHF)

Herts resident Kieran Sandwell, 46, was born with a major heart defect and had a heart transplant at the age of 38. He began walking the entire coastline of Britain last February to raise awareness and funds for the British Heart Foundation (photo: BHF)

British Heart Foundation

The life-saving charity is calling on Herts people to set up local action groups to be the community face of the BHF

The British Heart Foundation is looking for people in Hertfordshire to help spread awareness of the charity by starting a community volunteer group in their local area. 
Founded 50 years ago, the charity’s work is as important as ever. Around 117,000 people in Hertfordshire are fighting a daily battle with heart and circulatory disease. Each year, these conditions kill nearly 2,500 people in the county alone.

Community volunteer groups are the face of the foundation in local communities. From running fundraising events to supporting schools and local businesses and organising collections, they are a fantastic way to support the charity’s vital work.

Herts resident Kieran Sandwell, 46, was born with a major heart defect. He has a history of heart problems and had a heart transplant eight years ago. He regards his second heart as a gift that he wants to repay, and in February last year he began walking the entire coastline of Britain to raise awareness of congenital heart disease, and to raise money for the life-saving research funded by the British Heart Foundation.

Janet Woodall, BHF community fundraising manager for Hertfordshire, said it is thanks to the charity’s research that pioneering heart surgeries like Kieran’s are possible.

‘With your support we can save the lives of more people like Kieran. Heart disease is heartless. Too many lives are lost in Hertfordshire each year, and we’re determined to do everything we can to protect more families from this devastation.

‘By starting a community volunteer group you can help us fund the research that’s so desperately needed to bring us closer to beating heart disease. Together we can save more lives, and it’s a fantastic way to meet new people and make a real difference in your community.’

BHF research has helped halve death rates from heart and circulatory disease over the past 50 years. Through the public’s generosity, the charity will fund half a billion pounds of new research by 2020.

To learn more about becoming a community volunteer, go to bhf.org.uk/localfundraising or contact Janet Woodall at woodallj@bhf.org.uk or via 07740 095715.

This article is by North Herts Centre for Voluntary Services. There are seven CVS in the county, with hundreds of volunteering opportunities. Go to hertscvs.org for more information.

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