‘Bravehearted’ Guiding group raise funds for heart disease charity

Clare (far right) from Bravehearts NI talks to the Cullybackey Senior Section about the charity's important work. Image submitted.
Clare (far right) from Bravehearts NI talks to the Cullybackey Senior Section about the charity's important work. Image submitted.

Members of a North Antrim Girlguiding group have raised over £100 for Bravehearts NI, a local charity set up to support teenagers and young adults with Congenital Heart Disease.

Girls from the 1st Cullybackey Senior Section decided to raise the funds after two members told the rest of the group about their young cousin who has Congenital Heart Disease and needs ongoing support.

The group, all aged 14 to 25, raised the money by baking and selling 100 cakes. They then invited Bravehearts NI Chairman Clare Caulfield to talk to the group about the charity’s important work.

A new member of the Senior Section who also suffers from Congenital Heart Disease was able to talk about her own experiences during Clare’s visit and make links with the charity.

Beth Hampton, 15, a member of the Cullybackey Senior Section said: “We suggested fundraising for Bravehearts NI as it’s a charity very close to our hearts. I have witnessed how Congenital Heart Disease can affect not just the person but their family and friends so we decided to bake buns, cakes and other sweets to raise money and spread awareness.”

Miriam McIlvenna, the group’s leader, said: “The girls really did themselves proud. They organised the bake sale amongst themselves and worked together as a team to raise an amazing £100.80. Clare form Bravehearts NI then came to talk to us about their work and it was truly inspiring. Her passion for helping young people is phenomenal.

“Just before the fair, a new member, Emma, started with us who has had several operations for Congenital Heart Disease. Therefore, it was even more important for the girls to raise the money for such a worthwhile charity – especially as it could help girls just like Emma!”

Girlguiding is the UK’s leading charity for girls and young women, giving all girls the opportunity to grow in confidence and discover their potential in a safe, girl-only space.

Bravehearts NI is a local charity set up to support the needs of teenagers and young adults in Northern Ireland with congenital heart disease (CHD) with the primary focus on social and welfare care and patient and family support. They also support the work of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) team at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.

The Cullybackey Senior Section has been supported thanks to a special fund given to Girlguiding as part of the Youth United network, on behalf of the Cabinet Office.

It was awarded to Girlguiding as it is a charity which works to engage young people in their local community and regularly involves girls in positive social action.

The funding is being used by Girlguiding to ensure as many young people as possible can benefit from the experiences that the charity offers.

To find out more about Girlguiding visit www.girlguiding.org.uk

To find out more about Bravehearts NI visit http://braveheartsni.com/