Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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.


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

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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.


Mum’s Pamper Day

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Sunday 8th May saw 21 wonderful heart mummy’s getting a day off as we hosted our Yummy Mummy Pamper Day. They got to enjoy nail manicures, massage therapy, hints and tips from a Colour and Style Image Consultant and make a unique piece of beautiful jewellery to take home. This was all topped off with High Tea and spectacular views from the Penthouse Apartments in the Obel Building, Belfast.

A wonderful day of relaxation was had and we look forward to next year’s event already.

We must express our heartfelt thanks to Barista Coffee House at Loughshore Park, Apple Apartments Belfast, Honeyz Beauty Salon, Personally Beaded, House of Colour Monaghan Louth and Busy Bee’s NI.


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Information about Appointments & Reviews

Monday, May 9th, 2016

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Dr Casey (Lead Clinician at Clark Clinic) has provided this information about waiting times for appointments and reviews as we have had lots concerns and queries from heart families about this issue.   If you have any further queries don’t hesitate to contact us and we will do what we can to help.  CHT Team





Teens Summer Blast 2016 – Book your place now!

Saturday, May 7th, 2016


We’re excited for our next Summer Blast for our Teens which will take place at Todds Leap Activity Centre in Omagh on Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th August. You will be getting to grips with off-road trucking,  body zorbing, bungee run and much more!! TO

BOOK CALL 028 9031 2228 or email



Fab Fundraiser Friday 6.4.16

Friday, May 6th, 2016

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Courtney & Andrea Gallagher

Andrea and Courtney Gallagher are pictured with their Principal from Strabane Academy presenting £764.59 for the charity. The girls held a series of fundraising activities throughout the year to raise this great amount for our work! Well Done.

Joe Donnelly

Sarah is pictured with Joe Donnelly who held a charity football tournament a Girdwood Community Hub. Over £1,452 has been raised with more money coming in! Thank you soo much for everyone’s support to helped and took part.

Portadown College

Pupil Kayla McCann is pictured with Principal, Mr Simon Harper from Portadown College presenting Lynn Cowan with a cheque for £315.00. The money was raised from a table quiz and the pupils got to choose which charities they would like to support.

Sion Mills Primary

Pictured are pupils from Sion Mills Primary who held a #RockRedFriday event for the charity raising £260. Well done to all involved.

Strabane College

Courtney and Andrea Gallagher are pictured with Principal of Strabane Academy Mr Hampton presenting £225.34 for the Children’s Heartbeat Trust. The money was raised from the School Carol Service at Christmas. Thank you to everyone for their support.

Toreagh Primary - Website Only

Toreagh Primary School in Larne choose Children’s Heartbeat Trust as their charity of the year. Pictured is the School Council presenting Lynn with a cheque for £800 from their year’s fundraising. Thank you to the school and families for their support.




Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

The Ortus Group chooses Children’s Heartbeat Trust as Annual Charity Partner

The Ortus Group has announced it has partnered with Children’s Heartbeat Trust in 2016/17 to raise vital funds for the charity.

Ortus run a number of charity and community events throughout the year for different charities but this year has decided to focus on an annual cause within the community.  The company is planning on organising a range of internal and external events to support the annual contribution as well as partaking in Children’s Heartbeat Trust campaigns.

In 2015, Ortus’ 8th Annual Charity Golf Day took place for Children’s Heartbeat Trust raising £7,000 for the charity. The funds were used to:

  • Provide 83 confidential family counselling sessions which are available to all heart families through Carecall.

  • Furnish two brand new respite caravans in Newcastle and Ballycastle so that heart families can get a break from the stresses of daily living with heart disease and the hospital environment.  Fifty-seven families will enjoy staying in them this year.


Lynn Cowan, Fundraiser for Children’s Heartbeat Trust commented:

“The support from Ortus has been hugely beneficial to date and we are delighted to have been named as the first annual charity partner with the company.

The funds allowed us to continue providing our support services to the many children and young people in Northern Ireland living with heart disease.  As well as raising money, Ortus have also helped us to raise awareness of heart disease in children and our work in local communities across Northern Ireland.  We look forward to working with them and developing our services with their support.”



Following this event, and seeing the impact the funds have had on so many Northern Irish Families Ortus CEO, Seamus O’Prey, is pleased to partner with the charity:


“As a social enterprise, Ortus are focussed on regeneration of the local area, providing mentoring and training to businesses at any stage of their cycle and supporting those within our community. Therefore, raising funds for other charities and community groups and giving back is central to our social ethos.


After the impact our support in 2015 had upon Children’s Heartbeat Trust we are delighted to name them as our first Annual Charity, supporting their work through a number of different events throughout the year.”


For more information on Ortus please contact Sheila Harper. Email: or Tel: 02890 311 002.

 Ortus charity partner


Fab Fundraiser Friday 15.4.16

Friday, April 15th, 2016

It’s Friday again and another chance to say a big heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been supporting us lately! You’re all amazing and we can’t thank you enough! We hope everyone has a Fab Friday and enjoys the weekend ahead! 🙂

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Doherty 3

Damien and Hayley Moore-Doherty are pictured with their kids Dakota and Dexter presenting £4,400 to staff nurse Alison Turner. The money was raised from the annual Tattoo event in Derry which has been running for the last four years. Some of the money raised was used to buy two hudle2’s loaded with games and movies for use on Clark Clinic, along with playstation 3 games and lots of other items for the ward. Over the past four years the Doherty Family have raised £17,617.70 and we greatly appreciate their support!

Powell Family

The Powell Family, Richard, Rhonda, Ben, Harry and Grace are pictured with Donal McGreevy from Bank of Ireland in Keady presenting Lynn with a Cheque for £2,954.51. The money was raised from Bank of Ireland Hampers and the sale of one of Richard’s Cattle at a local livestock sale. Thank you to everyone for your generosity!

Glenda Allen 2

The Allen Family – Glenda, Steven and baby Faith are pictured presenting Lynn with a cheque for £1,211. The money was raised from the family hosting a dinner party for family and friends with donations to the charity. Thank you so much for your support!

Laurie & Hannah Martin

The beautiful Martin sister’s Lawrie and Hannah are pictured presenting Clark with a big cheque for £1,690.00. The money was raised from a fundraising night in Comber Rec in aid of Hannah whose been supported by the charity. Thanks to all who supported the night!

Lislagan Primary,Ballymoney

Pupils from Lislagan Primary School in Ballymoney are pictured presenting Lynn with a cheque for £575. The money was raised from the school holding a Valentines Disco which was organised and ran by the P7 pupils. Well done to all involved!

Papa Browns - Easter Raffle

Kris Magowan, Rose McCourbie and little Eva McCourbie are pictured presenting £160.36 on behalf of staff and customers at Papa Browns in Carrickfergus. The money was raised from an Easter Raffle. Thank you!

St Joseph's Lisburn

Teacher, Melissa Toman is pictured with pupils Eva and Niamh from St Joseph’s Primary School, Lisburn presenting £300 for the Children’s Heartbeat Trust. The school held a wear red day to help raise awareness of congenital heart disease in children. Great Work!