Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Help us plan our services and have your say!

Monday, September 19th, 2016


Have your say...

We are working with Gauge NI to complete an evaluation/review of the impact of our services. This will help us plan services for the future and access funds to expand our support for heart families. You may have spoken to Stephen or Conor at the recent Family Fun Days or our Teens Summer Blast event. In follow up to this there is a short survey for Parents and for Young People that we would greatly appreciate you completing.

All responses are completely confidential and comments will not be credited to any individual. The only contact information asked is if you would like to be entered into a draw for a One4all voucher for completing the survey!

Responses should be submitted by 30th September 2016.

Parents follow this link

Any of our heart teens follow this link

Thanks! CHT Team


Heart Tea Party!

Monday, September 5th, 2016










To celebrate World Heart Day on Thursday 29th September, why not join in with our first ever HEARTY TEA PARTY? Everyone loves a wee cup of tea and treat so why not get your friends or work colleagues together, take some time to catch up and raise funds for the charity!

To sign up and get your fundraising pack email:



Register now for CHD Network Annual Conference 2016

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

NetworkBoard Conference Reg

London Marathon Charity Bond Place

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016


We have secured one guaranteed entry via the Virgin London Marathon charity bond scheme and one lucky person will be offered the opportunity to run for Children’s Heartbeat Trust via a raffle.

Spaces for this World Renown race are hard to come by so do you have what it takes to complete the iconic 26.2 mile route and commit to fundraising £2,000 for Children’s Heartbeat Trust?

For an entry form please contact us on 028 9031 2228  or email

Our lucky runner will be chosen at random from entries received by 12 noon on Thursday 11th August. Terms & Conditions Apply.


London Marathon

Stacey Dalzell who took part in the London Marathon last year.

Art Competition Winners

Friday, July 15th, 2016

We are delighted to announce the winners of the Family Engagement Group Art Competition to help design the new All island CHD Network logo. We had hundreds of wonderful bright and imaginative entries and the Family Engagement Group found it super hard to narrow down the field so thanks to all those who sent in an entry. The winners are;

4 – 7 year old category: Luke Ferguson from Belfast
8 – 11 year old category: Emma Duffy from Lisburn
12 – 16 year old category: James Mahon from Dublin

and the overall winner was Dara Stewart aged 7 from Fivemiletown!

Well done to all who entered and we look forward to seeing how Dara’s design inspires the new CHD Network logo!

Dara's Winning Entry

Dara’s Winning Entry

£42Million Investment for All-Island Congential Heart Disease Service

Friday, July 8th, 2016

The Children’s Heartbeat Trust has welcomed the announcement from Health Minister Michelle O’Neill and RoI Minister Simon Harris of financial support for the implementation of a world class all-island paediatric cardiac surgical network.





Speaking at the announcement, Sarah Quinlan, Chief Executive, Children’s Heartbeat Trust, said: “We are delighted that the two Ministers have made the financial commitment to the all-island surgical network for children with CHD. For four years children with CHD and their families have faced an uncertain future when it came to accessing treatment and in the last year alone over 125 families have had to travel to England to receive vital surgery.

“It is crucial now that the finances are in place for the service delivery to start and we look forward to working with Minister O’Neill and Minister Harris, as well as clinicians and surgeons both north and south in the coming months to ensure that everything is put in place and the timelines set out are met.”

Ms Quinlan continued: “Throughout this campaign the Children’s Heartbeat Trust has been clear that the main focus must be on the needs of the children and their family, and the solution must be what is best for their care.

“In addition to the development of the all-island network, we want to see further commitment to the service in Belfast for children right across Northern Ireland, by developing the Clark Clinic as a paediatric cardiology centre of excellence, and building on the work of clinicians in Northern Ireland, which is already recognised as a leader in Europe and across the globe.

“Today may go down as a milestone in the development and delivery of an all-island paediatric cardiac surgical network, but only if commitments made are delivered upon.”

Catch up on how the story has been making headlines as below..

Our CEO, Sarah was on with Paul Clark on UTV Live last night –…/ministers-commit-to-42m-congenital-he…/

Heart dads Robin Swann and Robin Martin talk about their experiences –…/our-childrens-experienc…

Heart mum, Georgette McAlinden joined Sarah on Good Morning Ulster

Heart Mum, Georgette Speaks to BBC News line

Claire Ball one of our L’Derry family support coordinators talks about the £42M commitment to the all island children’s heart network. – 1:39

World first Transition App and world-class Research Book launched

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Belfast is at the heart of innovation in the health sector with the launch today of the world’s first App for teenagers with Congenital Heart Disease transitioning from children’s to adult care,alongside a new research book on the treatment of the disease.

Supported by the Children’s Heartbeat Trust, the launch sees the publication of Congenital Heart Disease and Neurodevelopment, edited by Professor Christopher McCusker and Dr Frank Casey, from the Clark Clinic in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. The book is based on innovative research with children across Northern Ireland with congenital heart disease, where clinicians look at the development of the child as a whole, particularly neurodevelopmental, rather than simply focusing on treatment of the heart. The findings have shown that this approach benefits the development of the child. The techniques developed and refined are considered to be leading the field in the care of children with CHD and are now being used across Europe.

The development of innovation locally goes much further, as the worlds first ever dedicated App for teenagers with CHD has been launched. The app, CHD Transition NI, which was funded by the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust, and developed by the Children’s Heartbeat Trust, helps teenagers as they transition from paediatric to adult care. By using the app they can manage their medication, find out more about their condition and keep in contact with their doctors and medical team, encouraging ownership and understanding of their own health needs.

You can now download the App for free at ‘CHD Transition NI’ through itunes or android stores.

Speaking at the launch, Sarah Quinlan, Chief Executive, Children’s Heartbeat Trust: “Launching not just one, but two examples of innovation in health from Northern Ireland is exciting for all families living with CHD. While Professor McCusker and Dr Casey’s book shows how our clinicians have worked to develop the best possible care for children with CHD, the App shows the practical steps that are being taken to help teenagers learn to cope with their condition.

“The care heart kids receive in the Clark Clinic in partnership with other healthcare professionals has always been first class, and ‘Congenital Heart Disease and Neurodevelopment’ will see their work used as a template for care all over the world.”

“To launch the first ever App dedicated to the care and needs of teenagers with CHD is a huge step. We are delighted that the Belfast Trust have seen the value in embracing the development of technology to help deliver the message and care for these teens and we are seeing Belfast emerging as leader in the development of care and health management though technology.”

“The Children’s Heartbeat Trust is delighted that Belfast and Northern Ireland are taking the lead in the treatment and care of CHD, and we hope that this can continue with the development of Belfast as a centre of excellence through a new children’s heart centre.”

Launch Pic

Congratulations Dr Connor Mulholland OBE

Monday, June 13th, 2016

We are totally delighted to congratulate Dr Connor Mulholland OBE, Chair of Children’s Heartbeat Trust from 2003-2015 and the very first paediatric cardiologist in Belfast, on his award of an OBE in the Royal Birthday Honours for services to healthcare and charity in Northern Ireland. Dr Mulholland is pictured centre here on his retirement with previous and current Directors of the charity.

A lot of our heart families will know Dr Mulholland as a driving force behind the charity since its beginning in the early 1980’s and his outstanding leadership and commitment to developing paediatric cardiology in Northern Ireland.

Upon Dr Mulholland’s retirement last year, colleague and fellow DirectorDr Connor Mulholland (centre) with current and previous Directors of the charity. Dr Brian Craig shared his overview of the role and positive impact Dr Mulholland has played both for the charity and paediatric cardiology in N.Ireland as below.

“In 1976 Dr Connor Mulholland was appointed the very first dedicated Paediatric Cardiologist in Belfast. The early years of his work were devoted to stabilising and making an accurate diagnosis in many ill infants and older children with heart disease. To this end he created a dedicated inpatient facility and held outpatients clinics both at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and the Ulster hospital in Dundonald.

In 1983 he had the vision to encourage parents to form a support group called Heartbeat and he became a founder trustee. One of Heartbeats first public roles was to successfully lobby Stormont Officials to create a second Consultant Post in Paediatric Cardiology which was appointed in 1986.

The 1980’s saw major advances in diagnosis and treatment for infants and children with heart disease, with the establishment of interventional cardiac catheterisation and a parallel improvement in the range of surgery available and in the outcomes following surgery. Dr Mulholland had the foresight to appoint a clinical psychologist to the cardiac unit which became the springboard for collaborative research projects into the important psychosocial aspects of congenital heart disease. Guided by his desire to improve services for children with heart disease the charity looked to support -the major Congenital Heart Intervention Project (CHIP) and the development of telemedicine placing Belfast at the leading edge of using technology to deliver patient care.

In 2003 Dr Mulholland was appointed Chairman of the Trustees of Heartbeat and was instrumental in appointing a full time Executive Officer and overseeing a change of name to the Children’s Heartbeat Trust, to reflect the aims and work of the charity. He provided important support and continuity throughout this period of change as the charity developed to better meet family support needs. Throughout the recent campaigning Dr Mulholland was a determined and vocal advocate for children and families, providing important advice to the Minister of Health.

Throughout three decades Dr Mulholland has encouraged, supported and led the charity through times of political uncertainty and periods of financial austerity in Health Service funding. His voice has at all times been one of reason and he has never failed to support those for whom the charity exists – children and young people with heart disease and their families. As he steps down as Chair this year this is the legacy he with others has created and a vision that we must maintain.”

Congratulations Dr Mulholland OBE from all involved with the Children’s Heartbeat Trust.

Plenty of Heart for Recycling

Monday, June 6th, 2016

More than 170,000 households across Northern Ireland are coming together with three local businesses to boost recycling levels and add value to the local economy all in aid of a good cause.

 Recycling Rewards New Partners


The yearlong ‘Recycling Rewards’ initiative was developed by Bryson Recycling in a bid to encourage people to recycle more paper, glass and plastics. For every tonne of these materials collected through their kerbside box service, the partners have pledged to donate £1 to Children’s Heartbeat Trust.


Cherry Pipes, Encirc and Huhtamaki Lurgan all reprocess materials collected from Bryson Recycling on a weekly basis and work with household brands such as McDonalds, Bushmills and Baileys to provide quality products worldwide, including pipes, glass bottles and egg packaging.


Eric Randall, Director at Bryson Recycling, which is part of Bryson Charitable Group, Northern Ireland’s leading social enterprise said;

“Our weekly kerbside box collections result in high quality materials that are recycled locally, which in turn helps sustain employment levels and improve economic growth. This is a great opportunity for homeowners and businesses to support charity and raise the profile of recycling.


“Throughout the duration of this campaign we estimate that around 10,000 tonnes will be recycled and reprocessed by Cherry Pipes, Encirc and Huhtamaki. This will generate £9.1 million which will be circulated back into the local economy.


“Recycling is easy, everyone can do it. We would encourage everyone with a kerbside box service to recycle as much as they can to help support the local economy and provide a lifeline to the Children’s Heartbeat Trust who provide an excellent support network for local children affected by heart disease and their families.”



Bryson Recycling sends the paper, plastic and glass they collect to the three campaign partners. Cherry Pipes transform plastics into pipes for the agricultural, civil engineering and construction industries at their sites in Crumlin, Lurgan and Dungannon. Glass is sent to Encirc in Derrylin which turn it into bottles for food and drinks companies. Huhtamaki in Lurgan (Ltd) is the world leader in environmentally friendly moulded fibre packaging, using 100% recycled raw materials located on the island of Ireland, they are the sustainable choice for high quality egg packaging and cup carriers. The collected paper is reprocessed into value adding products that are supplied to McDonald’s and all the main retailers in the UK and Ireland.


Lynn Cowan, Fundraiser for Children’s Heartbeat Trust added;

“We are very excited and extremely grateful to be working with the ‘Recycling Rewards’ campaign and partners involved. This opportunity will allow us to raise more awareness of heart disease in children and our work in local communities across Northern Ireland. The funds raised from the ‘Recycling Rewards’ campaign will help us to continue to provide practical and emotional support to children and young people with heart disease and their families across Northern Ireland”.


Weekly household collections are carried out a cross five council areas; Antrim & Newtownabbey, Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon, Belfast, Lisburn and Castlereagh and Mid & East Antrim.


For more information on Bryson Recycling and collections visit

Fab Friday 27.5.16

Monday, May 30th, 2016

It’s Friday and we hope all our recent fundraisers have a great time raising funds for our work! We hope you and all our wonderful heart families enjoy the long weekend for those who are off. Here’s just a snippet of some of the fundraising that’s happened recently. Our heartfelt thanks to you all for your support! CHT TEAM xxx

Fab-Friday-Pink - Copy

Aideen McCloy

Stevie Alexander our Family Support Worker is pictured receiving £550 from Anne Barlow along with her daughter Aideen McCloy and little grandson. The money was raised in lieu of funeral flowers, following the death of Anne’s husband Gerry, who is dearly missed. Our heartfelt thanks for thinking of us during your loss.

Elaine Kennedy

Elaine Kennedy is pictured presenting Lynn with a cheque for £563.75. The money was raised from Elaine taking part in the Belfast Marathon for her nephew who was supported by the charity. Well Done Elaine!

Georgette McAlinden and Aoibhy - Belfast Relay

Georgette McAlinden is pictured with her beautiful daughter Aoibhy presenting a cheque to Stevie from CHT. Georgette took part in the relay team at the Belfast Marathon and raised a brilliant £1,009.73. Thank you to everyone for supporting ‘Aoibhy’s Heart’ Relay Team.

Ian Rowan

Lynn Cowan is pictured with Sponsor Colin Chalkley (Dog and Field) presenting £1,088.30 on behalf of the Charity Gundog and Working Test event which was held in Omagh by Ian Rowan. The event was a huge success and thanks must go to Ian and everyone who supported him with this event. To date £1,133.30 has been raised.

J Hawthorne - Boot Sale

Jill Hawthorne is pictured with her son John and nephew Jamie Bloomer presenting £144.20 to Lynn from the charity. The money was raised from the Hawthorne Family holding a Boot Sale at Killylea Primary School in Armagh. Thanks must go to the family and everyone who supported the event.


Jaxon Monty is pictured clapping after his fundraising success raising a brilliant £5,511.55. His mum and dad, Emma and Stephen along with friends and family held a fundraising night in aid of the charity. Thank you to everyone who support this great event.

Lurgan Feis

Pictured presenting Lynn with a cheque for £300 is Niamh, Una and Cliodhna McDaid from The Maginn School of Dancing. The money was raised from them taking part in the Lurgan Feis which was held in St Peter’s GAC. Thank you to all who supported them with this event.

Maxwell Family

The Maxwell Family of Maria, Gerard and Alexandra are pictured presenting money they raised from the Belfast Marathon. The Family along with friends took part in the relay and walk and raised a staggering £4,690.83 in memory of their beautiful son Ross who’s pictured in the photograph. A massive thank you to everyone who helped the family raise this amazing amount for our work.

Michael Weber Belfast Marathon

Alison Crawford is pictured receiving a cheque for £1,340.00 from Michael Weber who took part in the Belfast Marathon with friends to raise money for the charity. Well done to everyone involved.

Sarah Alderdice

Sarah Alderdice is pictured with little Charlie and Alfie Carlisle. Sarah held a fundraising night for family and friends at her home in Dromore and raised £120 for the charity. Well done and thank you for your great support!

The Bloomer Family

The Bloomer Family held a Queen’s 90th Tea Party at Killylea Church Hall and raised £702.50. Pictured is sister’s Susan Bloomer and Joanna Hale with their nephew John Hawthorne presenting the money to Lynn on behalf of the Bloomer Family circle. Well Done to all involved for organising.