This month we would like to recognise two outstanding families for their fundraising and name both the Hall Family and the Varley Family as Fundraisers of the Month.
We caught up with them all to ask them about what they have been up to to raise money for CHSF and what inspires them to keep fundraising…
Why did you choose to fundraise for CHSF?
In 2017, a family in the local area decided to set up a Facebook page to reach out to other heart families in Kippax (Leeds) and surrounding areas. This was to set up a support group where we could get together, share our stories, support each other and our children could make new friends.
As a result of this, a number of us have become really good friends and have regular catch ups both as an adult group and family group. Oscar was born with Transposition of the Great Arteries in 2014 and Ruby was both Tetralogy of Fallot in 2009. We’re always looking for ways to give something back for the support we received.
As we get together a couple of times through the year, we had the idea of hosting a Christmas party that would raise funds for CHSF at the same time. So, The Hall family and Varley family started to take steps in organising and planning an afternoon full of activities and entertainment from superheroes to children’s entertainment – and of course, Santa.
The Hall Family
When Oscar was diagnosed with Transposition of the great arteries (TGA) after birth, we didn’t know what was going to happen and what it meant for him to get better.
We were asked a couple of days later if we’d like accommodation in the hospital which would enable us to be near him all the time. We live in Leeds and didn’t expect anything like this but it was a huge help. In the room was a badge that said the rooms were supported and funded by CHSF which started our connection with them.
Once on Ward L51, we started to see more that CHSF did to support children with heart defects and how this also helped us. Mainly it was the accommodation support that we were most grateful for, especially at the time of Oscar’s main arterial switch operation.
The Varley Family
When Ruby was born there was no parent accommodation for us available at that time as it was very limited. But in the nine years that have passed since Ruby’s last surgery the difference the charity has made is amazing. The support was there even before we arrived on the ward. You could see all the CHSF stickers on everything the charity had made happen. It felt great to have helped in some way towards those things.
The support we received from CHSF during our daughter’s recent surgery was amazing. We were allocated parent accommodation which made seeing Ruby so much easier. We felt relieved we could be there at a moment’s notice if Ruby needed us.
Lisa from CHSF was always on the ward and always came to check on us so having that relationship with the charity is amazing. We were even offered free gym sessions at Firehouse Fitness gym if we needed to work off some steam!
What fundraising have you completed for CHSF?
Over the years both families have done various fund raisers to support Children’s Heart Surgery Fund. From taking part in Superhero Walks, holding fundraising nights, Wear Red Days etc.
The Halls: At Oscars christening, rather than receiving gifts, we asked for donations to Children’s Heart Surgery Fund instead. Alex’s Mum and Dad renewed their wedding vows and they asked for donations rather than gifts also.
Is there any advice you would give to other fundraisers?
If you are thinking of doing a fundraiser, we would say to utilise your friend and family circles as they may have skills and talents to offer to help out.
Don’t be afraid to ask support from anywhere – you’d be surprised at how willing others are to help. Also, pick things that you will enjoy doing as your fundraiser!
“Children’s Heart Surgery Fund have been absolutely amazing for our families, our wider family group and others we meet through events and parties. Without their support, the journey families go through with their children would be much harder.”