Almost £10,000 has been raised for the Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke following a successful two-year partnership with the Fairhill Shopping Centre.
A grand total of £9,890 was raised to support the charity’s local services in the Ballymena area and also to help fund a groundbreaking research, The Baby Hearts Study.
Valerie Saunders, Fundraising & Marketing Co-ordinator of NI Chest Heart & Stroke, said: “We are very grateful to the traders and shoppers at Fairhill Shopping Centre for their very generous support.
“The money raised will help NICHS offer support to local people suffering from chest, heart and stroke illnesses.
“It will also help fund The Baby Hearts Study, which aims to help more babies like Little Joe Degnan from Larne, who is one of the hundreds of babies affected by heart disease in Northern Ireland each year.”
NICHS local services in the Ballymena area include Stroke Family Support, Respiratory Support and Stroke Schemes. Stroke Family Support offers direct support and guidance to families immediately following a stroke.
The NICHS Respiratory Support Group helps people manage life with Bronchitis, Emphysema and other serious lung conditions. The Stroke Scheme enables survivors to meet with others in a similar situation, while benefiting from various activities based around continuing rehabilitation.
The Baby Hearts Study funded by NICHS aims to increase understanding of the possible causes of congenital heart disease.
By gathering vital information from families across Northern Ireland, some with babies who were diagnosed with congenital heart disease either before or after they were born, and some with healthy babies, it is hoped researchers will be able to isolate the key differences and identify the causes of heart disease.
Natalie Jackson, Marketing & Commercial Manager at Fairhill Shopping Centre, added:
“We are very proud to have been a part of such a great project and success story.
“It has been an absolute honour to raise money for this worthy cause and to be involved in a big element of Ballymena’s understanding of the work carried out by NICHS.”