What happened at
Hearts & Souls in 2016
2016 was another busy year for Hearts & Souls. Our aim is always to raise enough money to ensure that we can continue to support the life-changing work of the cardiac rehabilitation team in Buckinghamshire which helps around a thousand people every year. We’re privileged to have cardiac rehabilitation to the level provided in Buckinghamshire and recognise that in these trying times for the NHS, many parts of the country are not nearly as fortunate. To ensure the service continues, we need to raise around £25,000 every year. If we didn’t do this, then it simply wouldn’t happen. But, of course, we can only do it because we receive such fantastic support from people like you. So please accept our heartfelt thanks as always.
Where the money goes
40% of our annual expenditure goes on the actual running of our Phase III exercises classes. This covers the hire of gyms and the services of our specialist instructors. 24% goes on equipment. This includes our famous step counters as well as treadmills and bikes for our exercise classes in Ward 4A. Another 14% goes on staff training and conferences to ensure all members of the team are properly certificated and up-to-date with best practice. The remaining money goes on things such as promotional materials, our website and the running of our various events. Hearts & Souls is staffed entirely by volunteers who receive no payment.
Changes to the rehab team
After 25 years with the rehab team, Lesley Simpson, our resident physiologist who has literally put thousands of patients through their 10,000 paces, left us in February 2016 to work with GPs and Practice Nurses in the Aylesbury Vale region. We wish Lesley every success in her new job and thank her for all her fantastic work. Taking her place, we’re pleased to welcome Matthew Bailey together with Andrea Lawrence.
The rehab team continues to run Phase IV exercise classes at various locations around Buckinghamshire. You can download the 2017 timetable here. There is also a super new walking group specially for cardiac patients. Led by an exercise professional/cardiac nurse, it’s called Striders and it meets in High Wycombe every Friday afternoon for a beautiful 30-minute walk around the Rye. For full details download the flyer here.
It’s time to chill…
Our new relaxation CD
Before Lesley Simpson left, she recorded a special relaxation CD designed to help cardiac patients relax and recover. A few years ago Hearts & Souls sponsored Lesley to undertake training in cognitive hypnotherapy. Patients and carers, who attended her popular weekly relaxation sessions in Ward 4A, thought it would be useful to be able to repeat the experience at home. For this reason Hearts & Souls has sponsored the CD, which lasts about half an hour. It costs around £5 per CD to produce and we offer it to patients in return for a donation to cover our expenses. We have also produced a small leaflet which you can read here. If you would like a copy of the CD, please ask a member of the rehab team in Ward 4A. Our special thanks to Keith Harrison of the Sound Business in High Wycombe for his generous support in the recording and production of this CD.
Everyone’s a winner…
For most of the last 20 years we have run a Hearts & Souls Race Night & Supper. We weren’t able to organise it in 2015 but were delighted to stage it once again on April 16th 2016 at a new venue, the Amersham Community Centre where the facilities were fantastic. As usual, it was a great night out. We had a large screen on which we projected eight races. So that people could have a flutter, we ran a proper Tote. We served a naughty-but-nice chip supper and there was a licensed bar to help the proceedings go with a swing. We were joined by 65 supporters including a number of youngsters whose parents had benefitted from the rehab programme. We managed to raise an impressive £1325. Our thanks to everyone who attended and also to Alan Rose, David Fairclough and Steve Wildman for their hard work in making the evening such a success.
Everything’s coming up roses…
An update on Alan Rose’s Captaincy Year
You may recall in our last newsletter that Alan Rose, our former chairman, had nominated Hearts & Souls as his charitable beneficiary for his 2015 Captain’s Year at the Oakland Park Golf Club in Chalfont St. Giles. During that year, the club members raised a fantastic £5,200 and in the summer of 2016 Alan Rose (r), presented our current chairman, Alan Cornwell (l), with a cheque in Ward 4A. The money has been used to purchase additional exercise equipment. We are extremely grateful to everyone at Oakland Park for their generosity and, of course, to Alan not just for nominating us but also for his unwavering support over so many years. Incidentally, you don’t have to be called Alan to become chairman of Hearts & Souls but it obviously helps.
No bridge too far….
The Hearts & Souls London Bridges Walk 2016
Once again we were pleased to organise the Hearts & Souls London Bridges Walk 2016 which is our biggest fund-raising event of the year. It took place on Sunday September 25th. We were keen to encourage new participants to enjoy this great day out and were pleased to welcome a group of around 40 walkers at the Hurlingham Club close to Putney Bridge at 8.30 am. To make it easier to get there and back from the South Bucks area, we laid on a coach from Amersham. Walkers ranged in age from nine to 75 and included patients, nursing staff, family and friends. Some of our walkers had actually been through the rehabilitation programme as recently as April so this was a tremendous achievement for them. We issued everyone with one of our special H&S t-shirts and we split into several groups, each with a team leader. Over the next four hours, we criss-crossed 16 London Bridges covering around 12 miles/33,000 steps. We stopped for refreshments en route and after the walk met up at The Minories pub close to Tower Bridge, our destination, for a well-earned lunch and celebration.
Fortunately, the weather was kind to us. A number of people who joined us last year wanted to repeat the experience so it was good to meet old friends and also to make new ones. We managed to raise over £7000. Our youngest walker was nine-year old Lila Wildman, granddaughter of our Vice-Chairman, Steve Wildman. We’re delighted to report that she raised over £800. Well done Lila! We are, of course, deeply grateful to everyone who took part and to their sponsors for making this such a roaring success. Our special thanks also to Anthony Vimal and his team for their hard work and preparation in making the event run as smoothly as possible. If you would like to join us next time, the date is Sunday September 24th 2017.
In memory of Tom Nixey
We would like to thank Jane Nixey for her fantastic fundraising efforts on behalf of Hearts & Souls. Jane lost her husband, Tom, in June 2016. He was a farmer and a great supporter of Hearts & Souls and the cardiac rehabilitation programme. Indeed, he used to say “they kept me alive for the last three years.”
When Tom was planning his funeral he wanted donations to two causes – Hearts & Souls and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI). Jane suggested to him that she might do the Great South Run in aid of these charities. Tom thought this was a great idea and in October Jane and her niece, Lisa Cox, both took part. Jane completed the ten-mile race in an impressive 1hr 58min 58sec with Lisa crossing the line just one second ahead. Between them they raised £4578.85 with Hearts & Souls receiving £2,616.85 and RABI £1,962.00. In addition, the Nettlebed & District Farming Club hosted a Dinner & Dance and the committee very kindly decided to make a donation to us in memory of Tom. We send our heartfelt thanks to Jane, Lisa, all their sponsors and the Nettlebed & District Farming Club for their generous support.
Just the ticket…
The Hearts & Souls Christmas Prize Draw 2016
Our final fundraising event of the year was the Hearts & Souls Christmas Draw 2016, which was held in Ward 4A, the week before Christmas. We sold 1130 tickets and a large group of supporters joined us for mince pies and festive cheer. There were five prizes and the winners were:
1st Prize: £200 John Lewis Vouchers — John Hunt
2nd Prize: £100 John Lewis Vouchers — Graham Lacey
3rd Prize: Tour & Tasting Voucher for 2 at the Chiltern Valley Winery — John Lee
4th Prize: 2 Tickets for Club Enclosure at the Windsor Race Course — Dee Jaggard
5th Prize: Christmas Hamper — Ray Newton
Special things people have done for us
During the year we received some generous donations from a number organisations including:
- The Ferdinand de Rothschild Chapter
- The Shanly Foundation
- The Rotary Club
- The Midland Bernese Carters
- The Bisham Concert Band who donated the proceeds of their Christmas concert to us
- The Yorkshire Building Society in Chalfont St. Peter who made a donation from their Small Change Big Difference® scheme
- The staff and customers of De Marsac, the Jewellers in Beaconsfield who have continued to fill and refill our collection boxes
We have also received many other donations. Although we can’t list everybody, we are very grateful to everyone who has donated. We also thank our many supporters who so kindly and so often bring us to the attention of prospective benefactors.
During 2016 Brave Hearts, the cardiac patient support group, has been meeting at 2.30pm on the third Tuesday of most months at the Magnolia Park Club, Hughenden Park. Generally around 20-30 people have attended each meeting. As well as social events, there have been some very interesting guest speakers covering a broad range of topics. These included the breaking of the Jimmy Savile scandal, the making of commercials and anecdotes from the soaps. Admission is free and there’s a raffle to help cover the costs of tea and cake. If you want more information about Brave Hearts, please contact the Chairman, Chris Baker, on 01628 525601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please support us in 2017
2016 was a successful year for Hearts & Souls and we hope 2017 will be equally good. It will be great if you can support us on the London Bridges Walk or by attending any of our events, buying tickets for the Christmas Draw or by doing your own inimitable thing. We thank you for your generosity and support and send you our very best wishes.