All Island CHD Network Film

January 4th, 2018

Watch the below short film for an update from the paediatric cardiology teams in RBHSC, Belfast and OLCHC, Dublin on the development of the All Island CHD Network.




Children’s Heartbeat Trust Annual Report 2016-17.

December 13th, 2017

Annual Report

Our Year 2016/17 (April 2016 – March 2017)

We are delighted to share the Children’s Heartbeat Trust’s Annual Report which sets out the charity’s significant achievements during April 2016 – March 2017.

During this period the charity provided support services, training and information to over 500 heart families. Our Annual Report will tell you what this looks like, how we have done this and the difference this has made.

We would like to say a huge Thank You to the many people who support our work and make all of this possible!

Find out about how we have supported heart families, developed new services and worked to support Clark Clinic here




All Island CHD Network Conference 2017

December 7th, 2017

On Friday 17th and Saturday 18th November the All Island CHD Network Annual Conference was held in Belfast for the first time.  Over the course of two days, over 350 delegates came together to hear from national and international experts in the field of congenital heart disease including surgeons, consultants, nurses, clinical psychologists and patients.

The Friday programme was tailored to a clinical audience and Saturday’s a patient and family audience, with speakers sharing their experience and expertise across both days.  We were thrilled to hear from Keynote Speaker Dr Chris Caldarone (Surgeon in Chief, Hospital for Sick Children Toronto) who travelled from Canada to join the conference and delivered two fascinating and inspiring talks about the importance of leadership within a clinical setting and how to encourage and develop innovative approaches for the treatment of congenital heart defects.

Other highlights of the conference included Dr Frank Casey (Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist, RBHSC) and Dr Paul Oslizlok’s (Consultant Paediatric Cardioloist, OLCHC) joint presentation on the development of the All Island CHD Network, and the talks given by two patients – Rianna McAteer (17) and Siobhan Quinn (37) about the realities of growing up with CHD.

The conference is a wonderful opportunity for our heart families to meet and hear from a range of clinical and allied health professionals, and we were delighted that so many families from RoI were able to join us in Belfast to benefit from this knowledge, meet with other heart families and engage in the network’s development.

We are already looking forward to 2018’s conference in Dublin!


Auctions set to generate cash cows

October 30th, 2017

Two livestock auctions hope to hit the hammer price of £50,000 to help purchase a new portable echocardiogram machine for the new Children’s Heart Centre currently being developed at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. Markethill Livestock Market and Ballymena Livestock Mart in association with Gleno Young Farmers will each hold a Christmas Show and Sale of beef cattle, prime lambs and an auction of donated items to raise funds for the charity.

Shaun Irvine from Ballymena Livestock Market, Little Grace Powell with her dad Richard, Lynn from Children’s Heartbeat Trust and Hampton Hewitt from Markethill Livestock Market.


This ambitious target will help leading children’s charity Children’s Heartbeat Trust in their work supporting local children and young people living with heart disease in Northern Ireland. The charity has been involved in the development of the Children’s Heart Centre since it’s conception and will provide financial support to kit out and create a world class, child and family-centred environment within the new centre.  In addition to this, the charity also aims to fund a new echocardiogram machine costing in the region of £50,000 with the help of the local farming community.  The funding of this new piece of equipment is crucial in ensuring that heart children are receiving the best quality treatment possible in a purpose built centre.


Farmers from across Northern Ireland are set to flock to the Markethill Auction on Thursday 23rd November at 7pm, and Ballymena Auction on Thursday 30th November at 6.30pm.


The fundraising idea came from Richard Powell, from Keady, whose daughter, Grace, has Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). Grace, who is now 8, was diagnosed during a neonatal scan and underwent surgical procedures at three and six months of age, before undergoing major heart surgery at the age of 5.



Richard’s family business, WK Powell & Son along with continued support from many customers, has helped raise funds for Children’s Heartbeat Trust over the past six years with the sale of various cattle. But this year he wanted to do even more, and has teamed up with local Livestock Markets to hold two charity auctions.  Richard has already pledged the first auction prize, on behalf of all who have supported his family business in Keady by generously donating a Charolais heifer for each of the auctions.


Speaking at the launch Richard said:

“The Children’s Heartbeat Trust has given our family so much support and help since Grace was born, and throughout her surgeries and treatment. We’ve helped raise funds each year through the sale of various cattle but on hearing about the development of the new Children’s Heart Centre, we wanted to do that bit more.  I approached Hampton at Markethill Mart with the idea of holding an auction to raise additional funds for the charity. Hampton came back with the suggestion of teaming with Shaun from Ballymena Mart to raise the target of £50,000.

I would sincerely like to thank Hampton for his full input and backing; and to Shaun for teaming up with us to raise the fund needs for this vital piece of equipment.  Adrian Cassidy, a friend has also got behind our fundraising by running the Dublin Marathon to raise funds towards our target. I’m grateful for the generous support received to date and with everyone’s input I have no doubt our target can be achieved.”


The Powell Family helping to launch the event


Lynn Cowan, Children’s Heartbeat Trust Fundraiser, said:

“The new Children’s Heart Centre will be a dedicated centre for children with CHD right across Northern Ireland, and will help ensure that they receive the best possible care. We are indebted to Richard along with both Ballymena and Markethill livestock markets and Gleno Young Farmers for their incredible support in funding the new echocardiogram machine – an absolutely vital piece of equipment for all cardiac children. Richard and his family have been so incredibly supportive of the charity’s work, and we are deeply grateful to the markets for joining with Richard to facilitate the auctions, and everyone who has donated auction items.”


An online donation page has been set up for anyone wishing to support this event. Please visit:


Further information and updates on the Christmas Show, Sale and Auctions can be found on both Ballymena Livestock Market facebook page and Markethill Livestock Facebook page. 

WIN Tickets to see Queen & Adam Lambert!

October 26th, 2017

Children’s Heartbeat Trust is delighted to have received 4 Executive Box Tickets to see the iconic Queen and Adam Lambert at the SSE Arena. Could you be a winner?


Generously donated by Hireco NI you could win this amazing prize (worth over £800) just by donating £10 in support of our services.

Simply text the word QUEEN to 84902 which will entry you into the competition and automatically make a £10 voluntary donation to the charity.

Please read our Terms and Conditions before entering the competition:

  • Supporters are charged their standard network rate per text sent (check with your network provider for exact amounts)

  • Supporters voluntary donation of (£10) will also be taken from their phone credit or phone bill.

  • Children’s Heartbeat Trust receives 100% of your donation

  • You must be 18 years old or over to send a text donation to enter this competition.

  • You must obtain permission from the bill payer before sending a text message.

  • You can only donate from a UK mobile phone number.

  • If you are outside the UK but still sing your UK registered mobile phone number you may incur additional charges to send a donation text.

  • You can entry the competition up to 3 times. If you entry above this you will receive a text to say you have reached your limit and you may still incur your standard network charge  for the text.

  • Children’s Heartbeat Trust does not accept any responsibility whatsoever for any technical failure or malfunction or any other problem with any telephone, telephone network or line, system, server, provider or otherwise which may result in any text being lost, delayed or not properly received.

  • The competition closes on Thursday 16th November 2017 at 5pm.

  • Texts received after this date and time will not be counted but may still be charged.

  • The winner will be generated at random and contacted on Friday 17th November 2017.

  • SMS service provided by instaGiv. instagiv is a trading name of Txt2give Limited, registered under Company No.NI073911

  • Your data will be handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

  • Please note we will not pass your mobile phone numbers on to any third parties.

  • Helpline number: 028 9031 2228 or email





CHT Christmas Parties!

October 25th, 2017

We are already looking forward to Christmas here at CHT!  Make sure to get in touch to book your place so Santa knows that you’ll be along!

We are already gearing up for our Christmas parties!

Dates for Your Diary!

October 12th, 2017

Upcoming events and activities!

Universal Credit Benefits

October 10th, 2017

Universal Credit Benefits



Our benefits system is changing, do you know how it will affect you?


With the introduction of Welfare Reform legislation, Universal Credit is being rolled out as the main means tested benefit for adults of working age. To be entitled to Universal Credit, you must be aged 18 or over and be under State Pension age.

Universal Credit will replace:

·         Income support

·         Income based jobseeker’s allowance

·         Income related employment and support allowance

·         Housing benefit

·         Child tax credit

·         Working tax credit

Universal Credit will be introduced for new claims across Northern Ireland in stages from September 2017 to September 2018. If you currently receive any of the six benefits listed above, you will be transferred to Universal Credit between July 2019 and March 2022.

However, if your circumstances change after Universal Credit has been introduced in your area, you may move to Universal Credit at that time.

The new benefit system will include support for the cost of housing, children and childcare, as well as financial support for disabled people, carers and people who are too ill to work.

Who to ask about your benefits

Your nearest Social Security or Jobs & Benefits office will help you with any questions relating to your specific needs. You can search for your nearest officer at:


Useful Contacts

Advice NI

Rushfield Avenue



Telephone: 028 9064 5919



Independent Welfare Changes Helpline

0808 802 0020


The Appeals Service (NI)

PO Box 2202



Telephone: 028 9054 4000


Hilden Bowling Club Table Quiz – 10th November

October 9th, 2017


Hilden Bowling Club Charity Table Quiz – Friday 10th November 2017.  Everyone welcome. See poster for details.

Baby Hearts Study – invitation for parents who took part

October 6th, 2017

Below is a message from the Baby Hearts Study team at Ulster University inviting parents who took part in the study to a talk about the findings before they are published.

Thank you very much for taking part in the Northern Ireland Baby Hearts Study in 2014/2017. Our study was trying to help understand whether environmental factors in early pregnancy increased the risk of babies to be born with heart defects. Overall 300 families who have had a child with CHD helped us.

You may remember that we asked if you would like to hear about our results when we had finished. We are now almost finished with our analysis and would like to share some of our findings with you and also hear what you have to say about these.

We would like to invite you to an event that is being organised by Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke on Tuesday 17th October 2017 from 10.15 am to 11.45 am in Riddle Hall, Stranmillis Road, Belfast.  Here you will be met by Drs’ Casey and Craig (Paediatric Cardiology Department) along with Professor Helen Dolk and Dr Nichola McCullough (Ulster University) who will talk about the findings and answer any questions you may have. The event will last about an hour, and there will be light refreshments on arrival.

If you and your family would like to attend please let me, Barbara Norton, know by Friday 13th October using the details below. If you are unable to make the event, we will also be sending out a written copy of findings by email in the near future.

In the meantime, if you have any questions please call Nichola on 028 9036 8053 who will be happy to help.

We look forward to seeing you again
The Baby Hearts Study Team


Mrs Barbara Norton

Project Co-ordinator

Ulster University

Room 12L09, Shore Road

Newtownabbey, Co Antrim

BT370QB, N Ireland

Tel: +44 (0)28 90366639