To kick off 2020, we are incredibly proud to announce the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit’s very own Filipa Ferreira as January’s Fundraiser of the Month.

Based mainly in our new Hybrid Theatre, Filipa is a nurse who works in the Cath Labs team at Leeds Children’s Hospital. Filipa sees first hand the work Children’s Heart Surgery Fund does for patients, families and staff and wanted to give something back.

We spoke to Filipa and asked her all about what she got up to to raise vital funds for CHSF…

Filipa, how did you decide to fundraise for CHSF?

I decided to do a walking challenge so I took on the Portuguese coastal walk to Santiago de Compostela, famous as one of the St. James’ Way. I started at Porto Cathedral in Portugal and finished at St. James’ Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, Spain!


I was supposed to walk just 280km (this is the official distance), but in the end I finished walking 337km! 😄 It’s an incredible walk and I even had the opportunity to take Katie Bear with me to keep me company.


It was an amazing experience for me, and I believe for Katie as well! We crossed beautiful cities, villages, landscapes, rivers, churches, people, good food, and we enjoyed every minute of the journey.


It wasn’t easy all the time but we managed and finished without any blisters on our feet! Phew!

Why did you choose to fundraise for CHSF?

I chose to support Children’s Heart Surgery Fund because I can see all the support the charity gives to families with congenital heart problems as well as the help they give to the staff that work with the congenital cardiac patients at Leeds Children’s Hospital.

The charity is so well organised and gives so much support to families and staff. I felt I should help and give a little bit back to the charity that gives to the department I work for. I believe all together we can build the best experience for patients with congenital heart disease and their families.

How has CHSF helped you specifically?

I am not a patient but am on the other side. I am a member of staff at Leeds Children’s Hospital and I can see all the support the charity gives to families first hand. Thanks to Children’s Heart Surgery Fund’s Keeping The Beat campaign and all the generous supporters we were able to build the new hybrid lab, where I currently work – so this is one way to say thank you to the charity and to all of you who continue to fundraise!

Is there any advice you would give to other fundraisers?

The best advice I can give is do challenges that are good for you – and at the same time fundraise money for this amazing charity! It’s a good way to say thank you for the hard work the charity do and a good way to help others.

And the last word from Filipa…

I just want to say a huge thank you for everything Children’s Heart Surgery Fund supports. The charity show so much commitment to doing an amazing job with our patients and their families.


At the same time they help a lot our staff to go on training courses outside of the hospital trust, they donate new equipment, and help to decorate the ward so the children feel less stressed when they come to visit us.


I would like to ask all of you reading this…think about one challenge you would like to do, go for it and raise some money for this amazing charity!

Feeling inspired to give something back and raise much-needed funds for a great cause?

Get in touch with Lisa Williams, on | 0113 831 4810 or download our events calendar here for inspiration and to see other ways to get involved.