Heart Heroes Founder nominated for an award.

REWARD ENTRY- Nominated by Jo Symth at Word-worker https://wordworker.co.uk

Organisation: Heart Heroes, located in Gloucester: 

Category: Leader of the Year

HEART HEROES FOUNDER:  Kelly Cornish

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In 2018 the charity Heart Heroes was founded, to support children with congenital heart conditions and their families.

Such children outwardly look ‘normal,’ as there is no obvious sign of disability. This in itself can be isolating. So Heart Heroes provides support, signposting and guidance to families as they face, and learn to live with, challenging medical conditions and all these entail: hospitalisation, surgery, missing school, and now (thanks to Covid) shielding.

With around 200 families on its book, and two recently opened Hubs (one in Bristol, one in Wales, to extend the charity’s reach) Heart Heroes is going from strength to strength.

The driving force behind Heart Heroes is mum-of-three Kelly Cornish.

Her inspiration is personal: 25 years ago, Kelly’s cousin, Corina, died aged just 10 months, while surgeons attempted to fit a stent in her heart. She had been born with a congenital heart condition.

Kelly said: “I had just finished senior school and I would go to see her every day at Bristol Children’s Hospital. It was all very traumatic for my aunt.”

As an adult, inspired by Corina, Kelly worked for a charity for young people with congenital heart disease. She soon realised there was little by way of support for parents of babies and small children.

So Heart Heroes was born.

Under Kelly’s guidance, the charity has a strong and supportive board of trustees, and has just taken on its first employee, Amy Ely. Recently, Zoe Trotman, Cardiac Ward Sister at Bristol Children’s Hospital, became patron, showing the strong link between the charity and the NHS.

Heart Heroes is all about raising awareness and supporting families through:

  • Events – now on hold due to Covid, but regular coffee mornings and socials are the backbone of the charity. Sadly, this year’s Christmas party and the first ever residential, which was being planned for the children, have also been postponed
  • Awareness, such as the ‘find the teddies’ campaign run via social media
  • A children’s book, telling the story of Naayt, which will help children going through the same experience
  • A Heart Heroes song, soon to be launched, again to raise awareness.
  • Fundraisers, such as a virtual tea party, casino evening, ball, It’s a knockout, quizzes, bingo, virtual fair, an online gig… and much more.

Here are some of the comments from Heart Heroes families:

Maggie’s Mum, Ruth: “I am able to go to the Heart Heroes group and talk about my experiences. Everyone is very friendly and approachable and Kelly looks after us. She has the family experience and it is like she is one of us. She does so much for us.”

Gabriel’s Mum, Lottie: “Not everyone understands what it is like to know that your baby’s heart has been stopped while they operate on them. They do not understand what it is like to see your child with all of those tubes coming out of them.”

Naayt’s Mum, Rose: “Heart Heroes has been brilliant for our family, because it is very difficult for people who aren’t heart families to understand what we go through.”

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Supporting material:

Heart Heroes video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW2pqefepYA&feature=emb_logo

Press coverage for Heart Heroes:

https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/gloucester-news/gloucester-heart-heroes-teddy-charity-4521525

https://www.raikesjournal.co.uk/not-for-profit/a-book-telling-the-story-of-a-three-year-old-gloucestershire-boy-aims-to-inspire-other-children-with-heart-conditions–23102020100052/

Could this year’s Christmas Number One come from Heart Heroes?

Could this year’s Christmas Number One come from Gloucester?

Who will have the UK’s Christmas Number One single is among the most hotly contested matches in the Pop calendar – and this year, could the winning song come from a Gloucester charity?

Heart Heroes, which supports families with children who have congenital heart conditions, has released I Am the Song.

Written by songwriter and composer Richard Lane and sung by vocalist Raene  – I Am the Song is being released on December 7, and will be available across platforms including iTunes and Spotify.

Kelly Cornish, founder of Heart Heroes – which helps children and families across the region, including Gloucestershire, Bristol and Wales – explained the idea behind the song.

“Our charity is all about creating awareness and reaching out to families who have children with heart conditions,” said Kelly. “We thought a song was a great way to let people know about our families and what they have to contend with and we are really grateful to Richard and Raene for their help.”

The song features the lines:

Will you shine in my night?

Hold my shield as I fight?

Kelly said: “While our awareness song has our heart children and their families in mind, we do think the lyrics will resonate with many people, especially this year. Everyone is fighting a battle or has fought a battle albeit maybe sometimes not physical.”

Originally, Heart Heroes planned to record the song themselves in Gloucester Cathedral, with a choir and the children singing. Covid has prevented this from happening, but Kelly hopes next year a new recording with Heart Heroes families will be possible.

To download the song, search for I Am the Song across platforms, or visit https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/richardlane/i-am-the-song

Meanwhile, Heart Heroes has also been busy adding to its list of publications, aimed at helping families and children.

Their latest is by 11-year-old Gloucester schoolgirl Lily Jade Smith. She wrote ‘A Cow, A Seal and A Dream’.

While Lily wrote the words, her grandmother did all the illustrations. It was a way for the pair to keep in touch, during the first lockdown.

Lily said: “I had a heart transplant at nine months old and therefore I would like to dedicate this book to my donor, without whom I would not have been able to accomplish everything I have. This book was also a way for me to stay in touch with my Gran during lockdown. It also gave her a chance to illustrate a book and keep in contact. This book has a meaningful message – don’t be afraid to be different. I’m wacky and hilarious when I want to be and all the best people are. So stay happy, stay safe and stay different!”

For more information about Heart Heroes, the song, Lily’s book and all the other publications, visit https://heartheroes.co.uk/.

Heart Heroes Awareness Song Update

A huge thank you to everyone who took part in our Virtual Christmas Fair yesterday. The event page is still live so you can still go back and see what is on offer.https://fb.me/e/1QPPQ9G8c The raffle was drawn yesterday, congratulations to all the winners!! £780 was raised 🤩

Today we start off with some amazing news our awareness song ‘I’AM THE SONG’ now has a release date…December 7th which will be downloadable on most platforms Spotify, iTunes, Amazon etc. Created by the amazing Richard Lane and sung by RAENE who’s voice is simply beautiful. To whom we cannot thank enough!!

The song was very much written with our heart families in mind but we truly feel this will resonate with many people. Our plan was and is to sing the song and have it filmed with our heart families and a choir in the amazing Gloucester Cathedral as soon as we can.

Gloucester City Council Covid Grant

As a Gloucester based charity we are very proud of our community and how it’s joined together during these times.

Recently https://www.gloucester.gov.uk has awarded us a grant to enable us to continue with our physical heart family coffee mornings by making premises and community spaces Covid compliant – signage etc. Providing Training for employee’s and volunteers to deliver compliance messages.

This means our community fundraising funds can continue to support our heart children and families through out Gloucestershire and the South West in the form of virtual get togethers, delivery of goody boxes and loaning laptops to enable all families to take part.