Harrogate school helps charity support young heart patients

Children, staff and parents at a prep have launched a new fund-raising campaign to help young heart patients in Yorkshire after one of their staff underwent life-saving surgery.

For the second year running, School has chosen the Leeds-based Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) as its for the year.

Last year, the school picked the CHSF after drama teacher Catherine Fearn’s nephew Jack Hartley, now almost two, underwent heart surgery at the Leeds hospital when he was just weeks old.

This year they decided to continue their CHSF fund-raising when one of Belmont Grosvenor nursery assistants, Lottie Haggas, was admitted to Leeds General Infirmary for surgery to repair a hole in her heart, which she had lived with since she was a baby.

At an assembly to launch the school’s fund-raising campaign, Lottie, 28, met 22-month-old Jack and explained to pupils how their fund-raising will help other young heart patients across the region.

Jack’s mum Rebecca, who lives in Knaresborough, said she was delighted Belmont Grosvenor had decided to raise money for the CHSF again.

Rebecca said:

When I heard that Belmont Grosvenor had decided to raise money for the CHSF again, I was delighted. The money raised by everyone at this school will help so many more children like Jack to live normal lives.

Lottie, who has worked at Belmont Grosvenor School for the past two years, said her and Jack had suffered from the same heart condition – but while he had been operated on as a baby, she had surgery as an adult.

Lottie said:

It’s great news that school is raising money for the CHSF. It is a brilliant charity which not only helps young heart patients but adults like myself too.

Around 400 children undergo open heart surgery at the Yorkshire heart unit at the Leeds General Infirmary each year – and 10,000 babies and children use the unit each year.

The CHSF funds equipment, staff posts, resources and training for those who work on the heart wards, and support patients and their families. This year, their focus is to support the new standards created by NHS England, to ensure the region retains the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit.

CHSF Chief Executive Sharon Coyle said:

We are so grateful to be able to work with Belmont Grosvenor School for a second year. We had a wonderful partnership last year, and we are really pleased we are able to work together again.

The school’s ‘can do’ attitude is really quite inspiring. Partnerships such as these are really important to Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, as it gives us the opportunity to inform the community of the work we do, and allows us to demonstrate how we make a difference to the patients in the region.

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