Love My Heart Campaign

Hundreds of people die each week across the UK from an undiagnosed heart condition – that’s hundreds too many. A simple ECG (electrocardiogram) will identify most cardiac abnormalities so that conditions can be managed.

Welsh Hearts are pleased to be funding such a vital and life saving initiative. It is our mission to help protect and promote the heart health of people here in Wales. Many people still associate heart disease and heart attacks with older people, however this is sadly not the case. But with screening we can make a massive difference and we will save lives.

Find out more by clicking here.

Every Second Counts in Wales

Every second counts when you’re having a cardiac arrest. There are 8000 sudden cardiac arrests outside hospital in Wales every year, and only a 3% survival rate. A defibrillator is able to restart the heart during a cardiac arrest, and can save lives. When used, the survival rate can increase to 50%, but a speedy response is crucial. This is the reason we have launched our Every second counts appeal in Cardiff.

Too many people in Cardiff are losing their lives to heart disease on a daily basis. With your support we would like to place 500 defibrillators throughout Wales’ capital city. We will also be providing free CPR training for schools, businesses and sports clubs.

Please donate today and help us raise much needed funds.

Saving Lives Charity at the heart of Wales celebrates its 2nd birthday!

Local charity Welsh Hearts Calonnau Cymru celebrates its 2nd birthday this week. Welsh Hearts was founded in 2013 by Sharon Owen and has been focusing on placing Defibrillators in communities and schools through-out Wales and holding free CPR training sessions to the public!

Welsh Hearts have trained over 7736 people in CPR and have placed 215 defibrillators across communities in Wales. The aim of this is to drastically improve the chances of those that have cardiac arrests outside of hospital where the first few minutes are absolutely crucial in saving their lives. In Wales there are approximately 8000 sudden cardiac arrests outside hospital each year. It’s shocking that the survival rate is only 3%. Where an AED (defibrillator) is used, the survival rate is 50%

The charity is working with Dr Bob Baron, a GP from Tonypandy, on the RCT100 Appeal to secure 100 plus Defibrillators in the Rhondda Cynon Taf area. To coincide with their second Birthday the charity are launching “Every Second Counts Appeal” an appeal to get 500 Defibrillators into Wales’ capital Cardiff.

Welsh Hearts have also teamed up with ‘Jack’s appeal’. In 2012 Jack Thomas, a fit and healthy A* student who had represented Wales all across Europe in Taekwondo died suddenly from an undiagnosed heart condition. Jack’s death came as a complete shock to his parents June and Grant as Jack had never been ill. Working together with Jack’s Appeal Welsh Hearts go into Secondary and Primary schools teaching CPR and use of a Defibrillator and basic first aid training for younger pupils.

Every week 12 young people in the UK die suddenly from an undiagnosed heart condition. Welsh Hearts wish to address this and from January 2016 will be running heart screening sessions for those aged 14-35 years to detect any heart abnormalities. The sessions will be free of charge and offered throughout the whole of Wales.

Welsh Hearts have also established a partnership with the WRU to make sure that every rugby club in Wales will soon have a defibrillator and all the members to be trained in CPR.  To date 40 rugby clubs have emergency life saving equipment installed in their club and the confidence on how to perform CPR! The charity also works with other sports clubs throughout Wales to provide defibrillators and CPR training!

Sharon Owen, Charity Director and founder has worked in the charity sector for over 15 years and felt that more needed to be done in Wales to tackle heart disease. Sharon was also inspired to set up the charity because at the age of 11 during a routine check it was discovered that she had a heart murmur. Although Sharon has been lucky that the heart murmur has not caused any health issues, she was thankful that it was detected as it has meant that she has been more aware of the choices she has made in life. Sharon has also lost loved ones to heart disease which also spurred her on. Sharon said:

Too many people here in Wales are losing their lives to heart disease on a daily basis. I also feel extremely sad when I hear that 12 young people lose their lives each week in the UK. This is why I am fighting for young people to be screened so any heart abnormalities can be detected early enough to save lives. And why communities need all across Wales need to be fully equipped with life saving skills and equipment. We have come a long way in a short space of time! Huge  thanks to people who have supported us in these two years, including our  wonderful Volunteers and the medical community who have supported us voluntarily but we still have a lot to do. We are proud as a charity that every penny raised in Wales stays in Wales!

Welsh Hearts do not receive any funding and rely solely on donations and fundraising activities. If you would like to donate, or fundraise, or even volunteer some time, please get in touch via the website or by calling 029 2240 2670.

Charity prepares to open its first shop thanks to its volunteers

A charity is opening its very first shop as it aims to get more than 100 defibrillators into the whole of Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Opening on July 22, the Welsh Hearts shop in De Winton Street in Tonypandy has been realised through the hard work and dedication of the volunteers who have helped director Sharon Owen since she set up the charity two years ago.

The charity is working alongside doctors and cardiologists throughout Wales who give their time free to the organisation.

Welsh Hearts is looking for volunteers who can spare a few hours to help staff the shop as well as stock to fill the shelves including clothes, books, toys DVDs, bric a brac and electrical items.

“We weren’t planning on opening a shop so soon but it just happened to become available,” said Sharon.

“People have been amazing giving their time to help us open the shop and it’s so heartening to see how everyone pulls together.”

Earlier this year, the charity presented a defibrillator to Dr Bob Baron, from St Andrew’s Surgery, which has been installed at the Cwm Clydach Community Centre in Tonypandy.

Sharon said: “We are very lucky to have Dr Bob Baron, a GP from Tonypandy, who recognises what the charity is striving to achieve. and is fully behind the RCT100 Dai Fib Appeal.”

The patients of St Andrew’s Surgery have raised several hundred pounds towards a public access defibrillator in the Dai Fib Appeal.

“The RCT100 Dai Fib Appeal project has the potential to have a major impact in saving lives in our community and is to set a shining example of best practice for Wales as a whole,” said Dr Baron.

All money raised in the Tonypandy shop will go towards the appeal funding defibrillators and CPR Training for the whole of Rhondda Cynon Taf.

To volunteer or to have items collected call 029 2240 2670, email or visit .


Let’s Shock Wales

Last week’s announcement by the National Assembly for Wales calling for legislation to ensure that automated external defibrillators (AEDs) could lead to an expansion of an existing Welsh Hearts campaign for ‘Jack’s Law’ to see more lives saved in Wales.

It’s shocking that there are 8000 sudden cardiac arrests outside hospital in Wales every year. Survival rates are extremely poor – only 3%. But with timely intervention and the added benefit of a defibrillator (AED), we can save the lives of up to 50% or more.

It’s shocking that when someone has a cardiac arrest, their chances of survival drop by up to 14% for every minute that passes, so a speedy response is crucial. Early defibrillation – within four to five minutes – gives the best chance of survival. Someone in cardiac arrest will lose consciousness and will not be breathing normally.

Defibrillators are community lifesaving equipment that can be used to help someone suffering cardiac arrest. They are small, safe, easily stored and simple to use. The machine gives clear spoken instructions so there’s no need for specialist training to use one. Once in position, the defibrillator detects the heart’s rhythm. It won’t deliver a shock unless one is needed.

Jack’s Appeal was launched following the tragic sudden death of otherwise fit and healthy 15-year-old Jack Thomas of Oakdale, Caerphilly in 2012, by his parents. Welsh Hearts quickly became involved with them to promote and expand the appeal to fund defibrillators in all secondary schools, working with the Wales Ambulance Services NHS Trust and other strategic partners.

Sharon Owen, Charity Director of Cardiff-based Welsh Hearts, said “So many lives could be saved by people being able to get hold of, and use defibrillators in communities all over Wales. We’re thrilled and welcome that the Assembly is proposing that the Welsh Government make it a legal requirement for places where people come together – in work, shopping centres, or wherever – to have a defibrillator at hand in case someone has a sudden cardiac arrest and needs quick intervention to help save their life.”

“People like Jack’s parents June and Grant, Welsh Hearts and Phil Hill have all worked so hard to get this far with the Assembly’s Petitions Committee. I urge the Welsh public to get behind this campaign now and write to their AMs and MPs, to make sure that Jack’s Law (named after Jack Thomas) becomes a reality in Wales, and that defibrillators become as commonplace as fire extinguishers in public places”

In the lead up to the Autumn debate on ‘Jack’s Law’ we need to encourage as many people as possible to contact their AM. Hopefully the Welsh Government will judge the importance of the recommendations and the move towards ‘Jack’s Law’ and become a reality. Please contact their AM (before September’s debate in the Senedd) to let them know how important they feel defibrillators in public places are. Find your Assembly Member here:

Welsh Hearts Calonnau Cymru is a heart charity working hard every day to help save lives in Wales. Our work is focused on the prevention and management of heart disease, and funding life-saving research carried out in Wales, which, to date, has put 190 defibrillators in place across Wales and has trained 6,685 in CPR and defibrillator use.

Welsh Hearts Calonnau Cymru is a unique heart charity ensuring that local people throughout our nation get the help, care and support as quickly and effectively as possible – at the heart of Welsh communities. Please help us save more lives in Wales.

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