The Children’s Heart Unit Fund at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital has received £50,000 to support families of children with life-threatening heart problems. The grant will fund the role of a Family Support Worker.
Treatment, which can last for many months, is a huge strain for the families of these children and figures show that around 80 per cent of parents will suffer a nervous breakdown after they return home from the Heart Unit, no matter what the outcome of their child’s treatment.
The Fund, alongside St Oswald’s Hospice, has recruited and trained a specialist Family Support Worker, Jan O’Donell. While families hope for the best, Jan will work with them to ensure that they are prepared for the worst. She will also support hospital staff who sometimes struggle with the emotional impact of their jobs.
MCF awarded a grant of £45,000, which was boosted by a further £5,000 from the Northumberland and Durham Red Cross of Constantine Freemasons Care of Children Fund.
Chris Gray, Chief Executive of the Children’s Heart Unit Fund said:
“We are extremely grateful to the Masonic Charitable Foundation for their support. It means we can continue providing this vital service for many more families in the future. We cannot thank the Freemasons enough for their generosity.”
Barry Speker from Northumberland Freemasons said:
“We are very happy to support the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital. Having a child with a serious heart condition is a terrible strain for any family and giving them the support they need can make a huge difference both to them and to their children.”
The Children’s Heart Unit Fund
The Children’s Heart Unit Fund strives to make life better for children and young people with heart conditions. CHUF supports hospitals across the North of England; including Freeman Hospital, one of only two units carrying out transplants in the country. The charity works to raise funds for large and small pieces of equipment, facilities, aftercare, salaries and research.