Heidi Watson joined Children’s Heart Surgery Fund as CEO on Monday 11th July.

Our outgoing CEO, Sharon Milner is supporting Heidi with a gradual handover and will leave CHSF at the end of October 2022.

About Heidi

Heidi has 20 years of Director/CEO level experience. This began in the private sector, where she was running projects with social outcomes, but for the last 13 years she has worked purely as a Charity Sector leader.

Throughout her career, Heidi has led projects and organisations which support both adults and children facing a range of circumstances which have made them vulnerable or socially excluded. Her role prior to joining CHSF was Director of Services with SHINE, supporting people affected by spina bifida and hydrocephalus across England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as their families.

Heidi says:

“I am delighted to have joined Children’s Heart Surgery Fund as CEO. It’s a wonderful thing to know that the charity I now lead, saves lives every day, by supporting the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit, a world-class centre of excellence. Your donations will continue to ensure they have talented, well-trained staff and the latest equipment to detect congenital heart disease and perform life-saving surgery.”


“CHSF funds the facilities, equipment, training and roles, which the NHS cannot provide – thanks to your fundraising. This enables the LCHU to optimally treat the 17,000 babies, children and adults with congenital heart disease which pass through the unit every year.”


“In addition, our Support Workers are there for families facing the emotional roller-coaster of watching their babies and children go through surgeries and treatments. The accommodation, financial and emotional support we provide ensures that parents can be there for their children, day and night, and we can be there for the whole family”.


“Since CHSF was established in 1988 it has awarded over £10 million in grants to the LCHU, its patients and their families, as well as funding important research proposals. I look forward to leading this charity into the next stage of its development.”


“My aim is to increase our annual fundraising year on year to enable us to offer more support than ever, extend our connection with all the families and adults across Yorkshire, NE Lincolnshire and the Humber affected by congenital heart disease and expand our Support Worker service so that we can be there for patients attending the LCHU, whatever the stage in their treatment journey.”

We are delighted to have Heidi onboard and we are sure you will join us in giving her a warm welcome to the CHSF team and wider heart family.


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