The Association was registered as a charity in 1974 and, in the years since, we have helped hospitals with the funding of vital pieces of equipment and have given support and understanding to many families, both local and further afield.
Our four main aims are
- To give support and understanding to parents and families.
- To improve facilities for children at heart units.
- To maintain standards of improvement as new techniques develop.
- To raise funds to help purchase specialised equipment.
The Association does raise funds but tries to use these activities therapeutically. There is, quite often, a very strong need to give something back. Fundraising is, possibly, the most positive and constructive way to fulfill these needs and also helps to purchase those items that are so desperately needed.
No pressure is placed on any member to raise funds, it is your Association and you must get involved as much or as little as you desire. Such projects often attract publicity which can stimulate funds and inform families that we exist and thus open the doors for them to join and find that they are not alone after all.
The Association endeavours to work closely with the paediatric cardiac units across the country and makes every effort to build up a relationship with, and gain the trust and backing of, the cardiac staff of these units. We try to bridge the gap between the home and the hospital.
The Association cannot give medical advice, that's a job for the professionals. We can, however, put families in touch with others with similar problems. Our various activities are designed for members to meet and evolve a feeling of belonging (including the brothers and sisters of cardiac children, who often have to share their parents' time and attention a little more than would normally be expected).
The Association is also for the nursing and medical staff - the stress can be great for the most experienced of nurses - many of whom have become members!
If you are not a member and wish to use the support offered by the Association you are more than welcome to do so. The last thing we want is for a family to feel alone, as most of our members have gone through similar situations.