Sutton-based Patches Heart Group is spreading the word about congenital heart defects as it expands its support network across the UK.
The charity, which offers help and advice to families of children with heart conditions, continues to go from strength to strength with more and more support groups being formed in different areas.
This week is Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Awareness Week and the group’s founder Maria Linfield and other volunteers have been busy doing their bit to raise awareness about the life-threatening conditions.
Heart defects are the most common birth defect and nearly one in 100 babies will be born with a heart condition.
Michelle Thompson, Patches’ admin and fundraising organiser, said that the charity has grown ‘quicker than they ever expected’, with the number of families they support having doubled in the last year alone.
“We are now nationwide with the online support.
“We have a support group in Sheffield that runs twice a month and later in the year there will be one in the north-west and one in the south-west as well,” she said.
Group members have been doing media interviews for awareness week, while Maria has been sending out information packs and co-ordinating fundraising events.
These include a Valentine’s disco at Mansfield Civic Centre on Saturday at 7pm.
The disco is for all the family and tickets cost £15 for a family of four or £5 per person. Tickets are available from Patches’ office at Ashfield Voluntary Action on Fox Street, Sutton, via Paypal using the email firstname.lastname@example.org or on the door.
Michelle added that as people affected by CHD find out about Patches, demand for support keeps increasing.
“People want the support groups in their area and we are trying to keep up with demand,” she said.