Over the last few years the relationship between Heart Heroes and Dolphin Ward at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children has continued to grow and develop. The support HH provides to children and families with events, online resources and Hubs (just a few examples) when they are at home is fantastic. However, this network of support has gradually been growing so that parents and children in hospital are able to benefit from it too. This support has come in so many forms such as online activities, ride on trike games & electronic devices, Christmas gift boxes, support packs and vouchers for parents who literally arrive in the clothes they are wearing, books containing amazing first hand advice, tips and sharing of experiences from heart families.
These are just a few as there have been so many but on top of this I have noticed the name Heart Heroes is mentioned by so many families who come to Dolphin Ward. Whether it’s because they see some of the resources, get to use them, pick up a leaflet or are part of the HH family. The positivity that comes with these conversations is lovely to hear and even more so when I hear families chatting about it amongst themselves. It can be lonely sat with your poorly child away from your family and friends so parents get chatting. Some parents are new cardiac mums & dads and others have been through the journey many times but HH is often mentioned and shared as a great place to get support, a friendly ear who many just understand a little of what your going through, fun activities focusing on all the things families can do together and essentially some help when you may really need it. From my perspective this is the best way to get this information shared with new families as there are so many internet sites out there it can be so scary knowing which ones to trust and use. A recommendation from real experience is priceless I think. We have resources and posters up on the ward in a small area for families to see, take away information, scan a link on their phones as well as the HH newsletter to read in those quiet moments and we keep it up to date with any activities we are aware of that are planned.
With families coming from all over the South West it’s great to be able to tell them that activities and the support Hubs are now happening more locally to them. This makes such a difference to families who can’t travel too far, so I will often chat about HH when I wander around and chat to parents. It’s great to be able to point the older children and teenagers towards to groups HH have set up for them as well.
The relationship with HH for our parents and children in hospital will continue to grow and in the future we hope to bring that support more physically into the hospital with the opportunity to catch up with a HH member and have a coffee and chat if a mum or dad would like too. Kelly did this recently for one of our mums and it made such a difference as what would have been a long anxious morning turned into one of support, chat, cake and the finding of some much wanted chop sticks for a very happy little girl.
Finally the fab HH team care about the staff looking after these amazing children and families so we get a little treat now and then too.
Ward Sister – Dolphin Ward
The Heart App
An important part of our vision moving forward is to create a Heart Heroes app – The Heart App. The app will help support heart children and their families even further when it comes to hospital appointments and treatments. There will be two areas for the app – parent and child. Some of the features for both of these areas are shown below.
The parent area will allow for support with other parents and contact with a specialist either for emotional support or medical questions.
The child area will deliver games for the child, a virtual reality option to turn their doctor into an animated character, storytime and a reward system.
Another feature of the child area in the app is to allow the child a 360-degree virtual tour of the hospital that they will be attending to give them some familiarity beforehand.
The ‘Heart Family Connect’ feature allows families to connect. This takes our charities key concept further, allowing families that are going through similar challenges connect with each other and provide support.
Heart Heroes Hub
Our future plans are to create ‘Heart Heroes Hubs’ across the UK. The heart heroes team will create a heart hub, which will enable us to support more families who have children living with heart conditions.
Grow Heart HeroesWe would also like to be in a position to employ staff who can also help achieve everything Heart Heroes is about.
Increase Heart Heroes funding
We are a small charity and rely on generous donations. We are always grateful for any donations we receive. We have recently introduced a regular giving option which is one of the ways we are hoping will help the charity gain a more sustainable income. Please help us achieve our goals by donating regularly here.
Ways you can make an impact
Support a Heart Family – £50.00
Donate towards The Heart App fund
Choose us as your well-being partner
We are fortunate to have the support of local businesses and their contributions to the charity are greatly appreciated. Some of our supporters include:
Join our GiveHope Community
Our GiveHope community are a group of compassionate people just like you who are dedicated to changing lives for our Heart Heroes by donating regularly.