A partnership between firmus energy and Children’s Heartbeat Trust has supported 50 families to travel outside of Northern Ireland to access lifesaving treatment, no longer available in Northern Ireland. The cessation of children’s heart surgical services in late 2014 at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children (RBHSC), means that cardiac children and their families have to travel outside of Northern Ireland to access specialist treatment.
firmus energy, who earlier this year announced Children’s Heartbeat Trust as their ‘Charity of the Year’ has so far raised £12,500 for the local children’s charity which has gone to providing support grants to heart families in Northern Ireland.
Lynn Cowan, from Children’s Heartbeat Trust commented: “We are overjoyed at the fantastic amount firmus energy has raised to date through various fundraising activities. They have not only raised funds but vital awareness of congenital heart disease and its impact on children, young people and their families in Northern Ireland.
“It’s amazing that firmus have been able to support 50 families with their fundraising to date. Our support grants make a very real difference and are a crucial aspect of support; helping relieve feelings of financial stress and anxiety for families so that they can focus their time and energy to caring and supporting their child.
“We are proud to run twelve family groups throughout the region to provide local support to families when they need it. The charity’s groups are parent led and meet on a regular basis. This is an opportunity for families to meet others who are experiencing similar issues in a local, friendly environment. We are indebted to firmus energy for their amazing contribution to our work so far this year and look forward to their continued support in 2019.”
Children’s Heartbeat Trust supports children and young people living with congenital heart disease (CHD) and their families in Northern Ireland. Over 200 babies are born every year with a heart defect in Northern Ireland and need support.
The charity works closely with the paediatric cardiology team in Clark Clinic at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children (RBHSC) to support the children’s cardiac services and ensure children receive the best clinical care and treatment possible.
Rochelle Magee, who sits on the firmus energy fundraising committee, added: “Families should not have to carry the financial burden when coping with the emotional stress of their baby or child undergoing complex open heart surgery. firmus energy is proud to help support Children’s Heartbeat Trust provide their much needed care and services to families across Northern Ireland.”
Some of the activities firmus energy has undertaken to raise these much needed funds included the Mourne Mountain Challenge which saw 12 firmus energy team members climb 2 of the 6 highest peaks in the Mournes – Slieve Donard Northern Ireland’s highest summit at 853m / 2,798ft and Slieve Commedagh 765m/2,509ft. Other activities included a ‘Hearty Tea Party’ and firmus energy bake off.
To find out more about the work of Children’s Heartbeat Trust or to make a donation visit: www.childrensheartbeattrust.org