Hearty donation by ex-chairman

A CHARITY which is leading efforts to save people’s lives has been boosted by a generous donation from the former chair of Hartlepool Borough Council.

Labour councillor Carl Richardson presented a cheque for £883 to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), which pioneers research to reduce premature death from heart disease and promotes better heart health among people of all ages.

Coun Richardson held the position of chair of the council for 10 years before recently handing over the reigns to party colleague, Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher.

The BHF was chosen as the Chairman’s Charity for Coun Richardson’s last year as chair.

The money was raised over the past year through the Chairman’s pie and pea supper at Seaton Carew Social Club in March and from donations from the public.

Hartlepool is one of the BHF’s designated Heart Towns, which means the charity is working closely with the local community, providing advice and resources to help beat heart disease.

The BHF has provided £300,000 for educational initiatives in the town and one of its recent projects included training 300 students in heart resuscitation techniques.

Coun Richardson, who represents the Victoria Ward, said: “As well as the excellent work which it is doing in Hartlepool, through its Mending Broken Hearts Project the BHF is at the forefront of research to find ways of enabling damaged hearts to actually mend themselves,- a tremendously exciting prospect for the future.

“I was delighted to support the Foundation as my Chairman’s Charity over the past year and I send my sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to the fundraising.”

Coun Akers-Belcher, who represents the Manor House Ward, was elected chair of the council at the Annual Meeting attended by other civic leaders and invited guests.

Fiona Turner, BHF regional manager, said: “We are very grateful to Coun Richardson and to everyone else who has contributed to this very generous donation.

“The money will go to our Mending Broken Hearts Project, which could begin to literally mend broken hearts in as little as 10 years’ time, giving hope not only to people in Hartlepool but to hundreds of thousands across the UK.”

Charity chiefs at the BHF say they are in desperate need of more volunteers.

To help with its work, or to find out more information, call Alan Walker on (01429) 236620 or visit www.bhf.org.uk