Originally from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, Carrie now lives in Northampton with her husband and two cats, raising money for this incredibly worthwhile cause.
Over to Carrie:
As the hustle and bustle of Christmas is over, and the glitz and glamour of New Year has come to end, we are starting to get back into our daily routines – the children are back at school, you might be back at the gym or you are planning for the year ahead at work.
As you are getting settled into 2018, maybe now is the time you are considering taking on a new challenge, considering volunteering for a charity, or maybe you work for a company who is looking for a new charity partner for 2018.
Well if so, I am here to tell you a little bit about the British Heart Foundation (or the BHF) and maybe I will inspire you to get involved.
So here goes….
My role is varied and every day is different, which is one of the things I love about being a fundraiser! One day I might be meeting a supporter who is sharing their story about living with heart disease, another day I might working with volunteers to set up a volunteer fundraising group in their town and the next I might be cheering on a company doing a skydive for us as part of a charity of the year partnership.
I see on a daily basis how BHF research is making a difference (I will come onto that shortly), but to me personally I have had firsthand experience of how heart disease can affect a family. I never got to meet my grandad, Jack, because he sadly passed away from a sudden cardiac arrest before I was born. I know how important it is to fund more lifesaving research so that other families do not have to go through the pain of losing a member of their family.
I am so proud to work for the British Heart Foundation, and proud to be part of the East Midlands Community Fundraising Team, raising money that really does change lives.
The British Heart Foundation is the nation’s leading heart charity and we are the biggest independent funder of heart research in the UK. We do all we can to help keep the hearts of men, women and children beating normally across the country. Our pioneering research has helped to transform the lives of people living with heart and circulatory conditions. Our work saves lives – tens of thousands in the UK each year alone – and enhances the lives of many more.
Heart disease is still Britain’s biggest single killer, affecting over 7 million people. Far too many people die prematurely. Our Vision is a world in which people do not die prematurely or suffer from cardiovascular disease.
Heart disease touches so many people - maybe you know someone who has been affected by heart disease? A friend, a colleague or a neighbour? Have you sadly lost a loved one yourself? Maybe you are even living with a heart condition?
Today and every single day 440 people will lose their lives to cardiovascular disease. More than 100 will be younger than 75. 12 babies will be born with a heart defect. 480 people will go to hospital with a heart attack. And 640 people will be admitted into hospital with a stroke.
And every month here in the East Midlands, 960 families are torn apart each month when lose someone they love to heart disease. Our research is helping to keep families together.
Another impact of our research is illustrated by the fact that in the 1950’s 1 in 5 babies with CHD died and now 4 out of 5 babies survive. In the future we will continue to grow our dominance in the field of research, particularly in the area of regenerative medicine that we hope will one day find a cure.
This short video here shows the amazing work the BHF has undertaken and the real achievements made over the last 55 years. But there is still so much more to be done, despite all the successful breakthroughs.
In the UK there are 30,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests each year but less than 1 in 10 people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK. Without resuscitation cardiac arrest is always fatal and even though many are witnessed by members of the public, bystanders too often don’t step into help because they don’t have the skills or confidence to deliver CPR (chest compressions).
This means that the survival rate in the UK is shockingly low at just 10%. Our aim is to improve this survival rate. If UK survival rates were as good as other areas across the world we could save up to 5,000 additional lives each year. In countries where CPR is taught in all schools, survival rates are up to three times as high.
By placing defibrillators in to the community and teaching people how to save a life through our Nation of Lifesavers programme (which launched in October 2014), the BHF is trying to change all that and our hope for the future is that every school child knows how to save a life. Our CPR kits, are free to secondary schools, aim to teach vital lifesaving skills to members of the public across the UK. Here in the East Midlands so far we have provided over 400 kits and we have helped fund 1,300 lifesaving de-fibrillators.
Anyone who would like more information on this or would to learn CPR can find details here.
Did you know that we have over 720 charity shops on the high streets throughout the UK, where you'll find quality books, CDs, DVDs, clothes, accessories and much more. You could support us by:
- Donating your unwanted items - We’re always looking for good quality items to sell in our shops. You can drop off donations to your local shop or donation bank. If you have things that are too big to carry, you can book a free collection. Small Items call 0808 250 0024
- We also have over 170 Furniture and Electrical stores across the UK selling sofas, dining sets, beds, plus much more, at incredible prices! You can also donate furniture and electrical items and we can pick them up for free too! Call 0808 250 0024
For more information about our shops visit our website.
By 2020, we aim to fund more vital research discoveries, lead the fight to prevent more people developing cardiovascular disease, help more people survive a cardiac arrest or heart attack and ensure more people receive the best possible support, information and care.
But there is still so much work to do and we simply cannot do it alone. As a charity, we rely on donations, fundraising and volunteers to help us to continue with our life-saving work as the BHF receives no government funding. Money raised within the region helps to save local lives, and is helping in the fight against heart disease.
If you want advice on living with a heart condition, you have a family member who has heart disease, or you simply want to get some tips on a healthier lifestyle then why not visit the BHF website. You can order lots of helpful publications for free, or even sign up for Heart Matters, our quarterly magazine. This contains lots of helpful tips and advice on how to keep your heart healthy.
Or if you want to find out more about getting involved with the BHF through volunteering, trying something new such as doing a skydive for us, holding your own fundraising event, or if you are a part of a company would is looking for new charity of the year. However you would like to get involved then I would love to hear from you.
Together, we can Fight for Every Heartbeat.
For further information, please contact me on 07967 306483, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.bhf.org.uk