(Left to Right: Nigel Scarfe Chair of Trustees for Heartbeat, Tom Pierce Trustee of Heartbeat, Nigel Atkinson Lord-Lieutenant and Mark Ind CEO of Heartbeat)
On a special visit to the charity’s home-from-home, Rotary Heartbeat House, Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Mr Nigel Atkinson, pledged to continue his support for the cardiac charity.
The Lord-Lieutenant was warmly welcomed by the Heartbeat team and took time to share a coffee with some of the Heartbeat residents and Trustees at their weekly coffee morning at Rotary Heartbeat House.
The house provides free accommodation to families of patients being treated at the Wessex Cardiac Unit at the University Hospital Southampton. The 25-bedroom home is entirely funded by Heartbeat and offers respite, support, and care for the families of patients who come from the Wessex region and beyond.
Heartbeat has been supported by the Lord-Lieutenant and the charity’s patron,
HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh, for more than twenty years. Both attended the charity’s 30th anniversary celebrations at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton last September.
Mark Ind said, ‘We were delighted to welcome the Lord-Lieutenant to Rotary Heartbeat House and share with him what the charity has achieved over the years and how we are evolving for the future.'
“Our core purpose as a charity is to provide a home-from-home for the relatives of patients who have serious invasive cardiac surgery at the University Hospital Southampton, and we also fund and fundraise against pioneering research and projects coming out of the Wessex Cardiac Unit, often centred around the fast-moving growth of technology.
“We are keen to continue to raise awareness of what we do to support many communities across the South of England with both reactive and preventative cardiac care, which in turn we hope will raise further income to keep improving Heartbeat House and fund more life-changing projects’.
During the visit, Mr Atkinson received a comprehensive tour of Rotary Heartbeat House, guided by charity CEO Mark Ind and Chair of the Board of Trustees, Nigel Scarfe.
The House's capacity, filled to its brim, caught the Lord-Lieutenant's attention, as did the extensive reach of patients referred to the Wessex Cardiac Unit at the University Hospital Southampton for invasive cardiac surgery.
The Lord-Lieutenant said : “I was delighted to have had a tour and speak to not just the Heartbeat team but to have spoken with some of the residents who were staying in the house. It’s good to see the inspiring work the charity is doing.”
The house, which costs more than £87,000 a year to run, had more than 360 residents last year. Heartbeat is grateful for the generosity of donors, including several Rotary Clubs across the South, which enables it to continue to make essential works to the home.
Mark added: “We are always blown away by our donors; every donation we receive goes directly into one of our projects or towards running the house. We’ve recently been able to install new carpets along corridors and stairwells, which we needed to do, and it’s hopefully added to making a stay here more comfortable.”
The Lord-Lieutenant heard of the charity’s ambitious plans for the next three years which include a mass participation event with the local community in 2025, the funding of new projects in conjunction with the Wessex Cardiac Unit and further collaboration with the business communities of Hampshire, Dorset, and the Isle of Wight.