Nominations sought for heart award

Rachel Hooley.
Rachel Hooley.

A charity is appealing for people to open their hearts and nominate someone special for an award.

The British Heart Foundation is seeking nominations for its Heart Hero Awards, which honour individuals and groups who are fighting for every heartbeat, such as heart patients, fundraisers, campaigners, scientists and health professionals.

Rachel Hooley, from Cramlington, scooped a BHF Heart Hero Award for her work supporting organ donation across the country.

In 2012, she underwent a heart transplant after she was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. Although the 12-year-old still suffers from ill health, she has since worked tirelessly to promote the Organ Donor Register.

Along with her sister Kate, Rachel set up the organisation Hearts That Matter and the pair have raised more than £7,000 for charity.

Rachel’s mum, Eve, said: “After the transplant, Rachel was keen to know how she could help, because she knew it was amazing she got a transplant but that others are not so lucky. She’s determined to make a positive impact.”

There are four awards: Inspiration; Young Hero; Heart Health Professional and Fighting Spirit.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: “We are very lucky to have passionate, dedicated and enthusiastic supporters.

“These awards are a way to recognise our heart patients, their families and the people who fundraise for us. All those fighting for a world in which people do not die prematurely from heart disease.

“Who has inspired you with their drive and determination to fight for every heartbeat? They might be someone who’s improving services for heart patients, a fundraiser who’s brilliant at organising community events or a heart patient who’s inspiring others by overcoming daily challenges.

“It’s really easy to nominate your friend, colleague or relative and they could be one of our Heart Heroes for 2017.”

Nominations should be made online at bhf.org.uk/heartheroes and all entries will be considered. For further information email heartheroes@bhf.org.uk

A shortlist will be drawn up and put out to public vote in April on the bhf.org.uk/heartheroes

Winners will be announced at the Heart Hero Awards at the Supporter Day next summer. To attend your local Supporter Day register at bhf.org.uk/conferences