Call to join heart disease fight

Ivy and her family - supporting calls for help in setting up a new British Heart Foundation fundraising group for the Sleaford area.
Ivy and her family - supporting calls for help in setting up a new British Heart Foundation fundraising group for the Sleaford area.

An appeal has been made for people in the Sleaford area to come forward and join the fight against heart disease.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is hoping to launch a fundraising group in the area and is looking for volunteers to help set it up.

About 11,800 people in North Kesteven, it notes, have heart and circulatory disease.

Together, it adds, these kill almost 280 people each year in the district – nearly a quarter of them before the age of 75.

Gary Burr, BHF fundraising manager for Lincolnshire and Rutland, said: “Heart disease is heartless. Too many lives are lost each year, and we’re determined to do everything we can to protect more families from this devastation.”

He described the charity’s fundraising groups as ‘the face of the BHF in their local communities’.

He continued: “From running fundraising events through to supporting schools and local businesses, or organising collections, they are a fantastic way to support our vital work and help people locally.

“Any time that you can give will be invaluable, because every pound raised will help fund vital research and identify new treatments that could help save lives.

“We are so thankful to all our invaluable supporters and I’d really urge people in Sleaford to join this new volunteer group.”

In support of the call for volunteers, Dorne Mitchell, of Helpringham, has spoken of how heart disease has affected her young family.

Their second daughter, Ivy, now five, was diagnosed before she was born with a rare and complex congenital heart abnormality.

She said: “Heart disease isn’t associated with babies and children it’s middle aged overweight people right? Wrong! Since Ivy we have become aware of so many tiny hearts with abnormalities and it’s literally heart breaking.”

She said as a family they have thrown themselves in to fundraising and promoting awareness of Ivy’s condition as well as congenital heart abnormalities in general.

She continued: “Our daughter has undergone two open heart surgeries. We are lucky she is still with us.

“We are forever thankful to those amazing medics who have made that possible.

“Ivy will require further heart surgery throughout her life and we hope with continuing research and as techniques advance risks are lessened and more children survive.”

For more information on the Sleaford fundraising group or starting a group up in your area visit www.bhf.org.uk/volunteer or email communityvolunteer@bhf.org.uk