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Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke

Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke is 70 years old this year. It helps individuals and families who have experienced heart attacks, chest and respiratory problems and strokes. They say:

Today in Northern Ireland 10 people will suffer a heart attack. 12 people will have a stroke, even people as young as 19. And 1 in every 7 deaths will result from respiratory disease. In addition to this over 200,000 people are living with long term chest, heart, or stroke conditions. In fact, 40% of adults deaths in Northern Ireland are from chest, heart or stroke conditions.

There are lots of ways in which you can fundraise for the Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke association. If our trip to Ben Nevis has inspired you then you might enjoy one of the following:

Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke

There are four different opportunities to choose from – Step up and Trek involves conquering 5 summits – the highest peak of each county in Northern Ireland in one expedition.

Step up and Ride asked participants to cycle – Starting and finishing in Portballintrae, you’ll pedal your way through Bushmills, the famous Dark Hedges, the Antrim Glens and the notorious Torr Head, before passing the Giants Causeway on the way home.

Step up and Stride involves taking in part in a challegne walk in the Mournes, the Causeway Coast or Tollymore Forest, and Step up and fly is an opportunity to do a skydive! There is an entrance fee for each along with a minimum sponsorship amount. Click here to find out more.

This is how we use your money to help others:

Care Services

The Support Groups and Programmes you fund enable us to provide a listening ear, emotional support and practical advice or signposting to people and their families and carers affected by chest, heart and stroke conditions. Like Philip, the people attending the groups are able to meet with others in a similar situation, while benefiting from various activities based around continuing rehabilitation, prevention of a recurrence and reducing isolation. Isolation can be a big issue with long term health conditions and in some cases the only time someone leaves the house is to attend their support group. Your money helps individuals in so many physical and emotional ways. This is what some of the people you have helped say:
“The programme has helped give me my life back.”

“My outlook is more positive and I am more confident about the future. I am more confident in company and feel less of a burden.”

“I am doing more exercise and after meeting other people with similar problems I feel less isolated.”

“Meeting others with different conditions but similar problems has helped ease my sense of frustration, which has gone along way towards helping me to cope. Many thanks.”

If you want to read the stories of some of the members of our support groups and programmes, go to our page ofPeople’s Stories.

Prevention and Health Promotion

They say that prevention is better than a cure, so we also use the money you have entrusted to us to try to prevent these illnesses occurring in the future.

Your donations allow us to run a comprehensive healthy schools programme that aims to influence young people’s lifestyle behaviours at an early age, with the hope of a knock on effect on their family and wider community.

You also support our work with homeless people, who are particularly vulnerable to these illnesses. We run Health and Homeless projects, which focus on diet choices and healthier lifestyles, with many people including teenagers who have just come out of care or other institutions. We can only continue to deliver this programme because of your support and generosity.

Thanks to you, we are also able to offer health promotion services which include providing health information, talks and nurse health checks in the workplace and in the community. We measure cardiac risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels and where necessary advise people on how to adopt healthier lifestyles in order to reduce their risk of developing chest, heart and stroke illnesses. There have been incidences where a health assessment you have funded has provided an early warning to individuals who have then gone on to seek help from their GP.

Research

Your commitment to us means that we are able to commit to funding research into the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care of chest, heart and stroke illnesses in Northern Ireland’s hospitals and universities which will benefit the people of Northern Ireland. You are helping us to fund a number of exciting projects, including one which will look at risk factors and protective measures for congenital heart disease in newborn babies. We also carry out research to ensure that our care services programmes are backed up by clinical evidence, so that you can be sure your money is making a difference.

Campaigning

We also campaign at Assembly level on behalf of people and families who are impacted by chest, heart and stroke illnesses. People like Philip. Maybe people like you or your loved ones.

Thanks to your support, we have been able to pay the set–up costs for a screening service for Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) which is a genetic condition that causes abnormally high cholesterol and early development of Coronary Heart Disease. FH is a killer but thanks to you, the screening service will provide a proper database for FH and testing of families in every Health Trust area and will save many lives across Northern Ireland.

So from everyone at NICHS and all the people who your money helps across Northern Ireland, thank–you from the bottom of our hearts. (Source)

To find out more about Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke please click here to visit their website.