Jean Hill’s Story

We caught up with our lovely Heart Mum Jean, Belfast Heart Family Group Organiser Volunteer.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

My name is Jean Hill and I’m a Heart Mum who lives in Dundonald. I’m married to Dennis and have two lovely daughters, Camryn (24) and Rachael (15) who was born with a heart condition and has had multiple open heart surgeries. I work as a Classroom Assistant in the local High School.  In my spare time I enjoy playing netball, dance fit classes and, best of all, open water swimming!

How long have you been volunteering with Children’s Heartbeat Trust, what do you do as a volunteer, and why did you decide to?

I’ve been in this role for over 15 years since Rachael (15) was born and it’s lovely to see how much the Heart Kids, their parents and the amazing siblings (that are part of this journey whether they like it or not!!) have progressed, moving from preschool to primary, then secondary schools and attending formals. I enjoy volunteering for CHT as a local Heart Family Group Organiser for the Belfast area, creating an informal, relaxed setting for local heart families to get to know each other and have a good laugh in the process!

What do you enjoy about volunteering?

We all know congenital heart disease doesn’t discriminate so I get to know a real ‘Dolly Mixture’ of families and every  journey is different so it’s very rewarding to see how they progress from when they first come along to the group. Like the rest of the CHT Family Support Groups, we try to offer families a safe place of support and encouragement to share their stories and struggles

What has been the most memorable moment for you since getting involved with Children’s Heartbeat Trust?

I can’t pick just one moment! It’s very rewarding after each Saturday afternoon that we meet, watching everyone go home and knowing they’ve had fun.

Jean Heart Group Organisers