Andy Deakins is fundraiser of the month for August, and has shown why both team and family spirit is so important.

Andy fundraises for Children’s Heart Surgery Fund because two of his cousins have babies born with heart conditions, Reggie and Honey-Rose.

Reggie was born with half a heart (hypoplastic left heart syndrome) and multiple congenital heart conditions.

He had open heart surgery lasting 9 hours at just 4 days old in September 2016, followed by the Glenn procedure in January.

Reggie’s next surgery is planned for when he reaches 3/4 years old, and then his only other option is a possible heart transplant.

Honey-Rose was born with right arterial isomerism amongst other serious heart defects.

She was expected to pass away after a few days, but showed amazing fighting spirit and had her first open heart surgery after 3 weeks.

Like Reggie, her life span is hard to predict at present and she will need subsequent open heart procedures.

Andy told us they inspired him to fundraise:

These babies have had a tough start in life but they have proved how strong they are.

If it wasn’t for Children’s Heart Surgery Fund and the hospital, these two babies plus others’ babies wouldn’t be with us today.

So he organised a charity football match in Grimsby to help raise funds, and recruited 30 players including family and friends to play a competitive game.

Along with the match itself, he organised a magician, face painter and raffle which included over 100 prizes.

Andy was also interviewed by Miss Grimsby (aka Laura), in her former guise as a reporter for the Grimsby Telegraph!

And there’s more coverage of his event on the Grimsby Telegraph website.

We asked Andy for his fundraising advice for others planning to host a charity event:

The best advice is to plan in advance and advertise as much as you can.

I purchased posters and banners and even got in touch with local press and radio stations to make this event as big as I could.

They did this by advertising my event on a weekly basis and put my interview on the radio on a weekly basis too.

This brought massive awarness to my event and I had people emailing me and ringing me up wanting to donate money and prizes.

I also made Facebook groups up and an event page, and got family and friends to share the pages as much as they could.

It’s thanks to the support from amazing people like Andy that Children’s Heart Surgery Fund can funnel your donations into hospital accommodation, equipment and resources.

Find out more about fundraising on our Get Involved page