15-year-old Daniel Woodthorpe (Dan) not only joined us last week for work experience, but has a special connection to Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF).

He is currently studying for his GCSEs at Ilkley Grammar School and trusts this opportunity will help him find a job he enjoys later on in life. Dan says:

I was born in June 2003 in the Leeds General Infirmary but when I was only two and a half years old I needed to have open heart surgery. Unfortunately, the procedure was more complicated than expected therefore taking an extra hour and a half.

Thanks to the staff though I recovered in less than a week and I could go home. After the operation I got given a Katie Bear which I still have today, so that I will never forget what CHSF did for me.

So far, I have never let my heart condition stop me from doing what I love, and because of my hardworking attitude I have achieved things I never thought I could have. For instance, I am a black belt in karate and I have won a competition. I also play a lot of cricket for my local club and have played adults cricket which has been amazing. It’s all #BecauseofYou and CHSF.

Currently I am doing my work experience and I have the privilege to work at the CHSF office. Its been a fantastic experience and I have loved every minute of it.

Everyone has made feel part of the team and I feel I have contributed and helped children. I wanted to do my work experience at the CHSF office because I wanted to give back to the charity for helping me all those years ago

Dan’s father Chris is a partner at Leeds-based law firm Walker Morris – who are themselves business affiliates and supporters of CHSF – and heads up their Housing Group. Chris told us:

Daniel has enjoyed his time working with the Fund, the diversity of the work and helping to seek to broaden awareness of and support for the fund which is special to him.

We’ve loved having Dan in the office, and he’s helped across many parts of the charity – Events, Corporate, Marketing and Accounts. He even took part in GDPR (data protection) training and our team meeting!

Here he is with CEO Sharon, Community Fundraiser Lisa and the certificate he designed for the team!

Fantastic to meet you Dan, you’re an inspiration to other young folk with CHD and we’re sure you’ve got a very bright future.