Youth@Heart are absolutely delighted to receive funding from Global’s Make Some Noise and have its continued support, helping our Charity carry out its vital work supporting young people with Congenital Heart Disease and making a real difference. The funding will go a long way to enable our Youth Workers to carry on their work, who are dedicated to supporting those aged 15 – 24 with Congenital Heart Disease and their families across the South West, South Wales and Gloucestershire.
During 2020 Youth@Heart continued to empower young people and families during COVID, providing just under 1000 points of specialised and tailored support to young people with CHD and their families who needed it, with 44% of the support given, relating to mental health. It’s been a tough year for people particularly with some of those with CHD being asked to shield, having appointments cancelled and not knowing what is safe and what isn’t. As the world starts to reopen and we come out of lockdown, the active support we are able to offer young adults with CHD through our dedicated Youth Workers and for their families is vital, now more than ever.
Many young people who have benefitted from Youth@Heart go on to be mentors and offer help to others who have been in their position, offering an encouraging network to other young adults with CHD. The Youth Workers provide a friendly, approachable and listening ear, proactively supporting inpatients being based at the Bristol Heart Institute, supporting outpatients and their families within the community – facilitating continuity of care, checking in with people, being a sounding board and even more importantly just being there.
One young person spoke about the boost they had from working with Youth@Heart, particularly from the Youth Worker who was assisting them in hospital, saying “Genuinely the impact of having someone to talk to about my disabilities and about what’s going on, someone who just gets it has been huge on my mental health. And knowing there is someone at the Bristol Heart Institute who is looking out for me means so much”. Equally empowering parents and families has taken on strides at the Charity taking on a Community Youth & Family worker in September 2020. The team focussing on the person and how we can make someone’s situation a little better, by offering our support, a listening ear and by just being there. A parent said “This is the 1st time we’ve truly encountered a group “just for the likes of my M” – something for him, with others that know how it truly feels, to walk in at times lonely & worrying shoes. Young adults can often be forgotten – but here, with Y@H there is a very special and safe place for them to go and confide in, seek help and advice, be listened to and share experiences”
Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is the no.1 birth defect in the UK, with 1 in 100 babies being born with some kind of heart defect – now with medical advancements and medical support, over 85% of those with CHD are living into adulthood, with very little support having to deal with a life changing condition. Our Youth Workers are here to support young people and their families affected whether in hospital, out in the community or via telephone, zoom and arranging activities and events. Get in touch if you could benefit from support firstname.lastname@example.org
The Charity was set up in memory of Alice, who sadly lost her battle with CHD aged 22. Seeing more young people and families gain the support that Alice wanted others to have is truly fantastic. With the support from places like Globals and other funders, donors and volunteers, we want to ensure that no young adult faces that transition to adulthood with CHD alone. We thank everyone who is making that dream a reality!
Contact: Faith Sanderson Youth@Heart
Charity no: 1158249