Raising funds to help children’s heart group

Children in the After-School Section of Happy Hills Daycare, Markethill, pictured during their Teddy Bear's Picnic event in aid of The Children's Heartbeat Trust. Also included are staff from left, Evangelene Haffey, nursery assistant, Andrea Kingston, owner, and Chloe Nellins, nursery assistants.  INPT07-204
Children in the After-School Section of Happy Hills Daycare, Markethill, pictured during their Teddy Bear's Picnic event in aid of The Children's Heartbeat Trust. Also included are staff from left, Evangelene Haffey, nursery assistant, Andrea Kingston, owner, and Chloe Nellins, nursery assistants. INPT07-204

A Markethill day nursery boss whose daughter underwent open heart surgery at just eight days old, is giving something back to the charity which supported her and her daughter.

Andrea Kingston, co-owner of Happy Hills, is helping to organise a number of events in aid of The Children’s Heartbeat Trust, the first of which was a teddy bears’ picnic last week.

The heart charity is Happy Hills’ chosen charity for 2017, and throughout the year the charity will be running several fundraising events with the children to raise awareness of the charity and funds.

Said Andrea, “Having experienced first-hand the excellent work which The Children’s Heart Beat Trust do on a daily basis and the support they provide to families we are thrilled to be able to give a little something back.”

Meanwhile, 4th Portadown Edenderry Presbyterian Anchor Boys have also been helping the charity through the donation of toiletries and other goods for Jake’s Ladybird Bags.

The bags, co-ordinated by Portadown woman and local councillor Julie Flaherty, whose two-year-old son Jake died of congenital heart disease, are designed for families travelling with their children to hospitals in England and Dublin.

Mrs Flaherty, who coordinates the bags in conjunction with the charity, said the boys were a credit to their officers and their parents.

She said, “As always, the generosity of people is amazing, but this does not surprise me.”

The Children’s Heartbeat Trust provides practical and emotional support to children and young people born with congenital heart disease and their families.

They work closely with Clark Clinic, the paediatric cardiac ward at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, to help fund medical equipment and initiatives.

Heart Disease is the most common birth defect with over 200 babies born each year in Northern Ireland with the condition.