A new Plymouth Charity, Hearts Together, has been formed by the merger of HeartSWell Lodge CIC trading as 'The Lodge' and HeartSWell the charity. This new organisation is now looking to recruit a Chairperson to work alongside the board and staff team to develop its strategy and take the charity forward.  

HeartSWell began its life back in 1989 as the Plymouth and District Cardiology Fund, established by the late Monica Pearce, who experienced first-hand the combined challenges of caring for someone with cardiovascular illness and travelling long distances for treatment.  Her fundraising efforts, supported by other heart patients and carers, made it possible to build HeartSWell Lodge; a unique provision of accommodation for patients, carers and relatives many of whom travel  significant distances to undergo treatment in Plymouth or to be close by during what can be a very difficult time.

Today the Hearts Together Hospital Hotel sees over 10,000 patients, carers and relatives passing through its doors and is open to anyone with a health related need, not only those undergoing cardiac procedures.

The charity has grown and evolved over the past 30 years to adapt to the changing needs of those it is here to serve and support and our plans for the future reflect this ethos of continuous improvement.

Over the past 24 years, well known Plymouth businessman, Clem Spencer raised far in excess of £50,000 for the charity and donated hundreds of hours to this worthy cause. His lived experience gave him valuable knowledge and insight, which he used in his role as Trustee and Chairman to help take the charity forward and to help others.  He served on the Board of Trustees for ten years.

Before Clem passed away earlier this year, his final major achievement for the charity was to help in bringing about the merger. As of 1st July the charity moved forward as one organisation 'Hearts Together' and  will continue to support as many people as possible can, just as Clem had hoped they would.  Clem was an exceptional man who will be missed by many and fondly remembered.

In addition to the hospital accommodation, Hearts Together also provides defibrillators and training to local groups and organisations and this week sees the launch of the first buses in the UK to be carrying them as part of Hearts Together’s ‘On the buses’ scheme.  This launch coincides with the British Heart Foundations “Restart a Heart” day (16th October 2019) which seeks to raise awareness of the importance of this life-saving equipment. Support & counselling is also offered to heart disease sufferers, their carers & relatives.  It has been seen there is often a gap between the medical care and the emotional and psychological support that people receive. The clinical teams in the NHS are fantastic at delivering expert medical care but often there is not the resource within the system to provide the all important emotional and psychological support which can make such a difference once medical care is complete.

The Charity has big plans to extend its services over the next few years and is now seeking a new Chair to support the Board in realising this vision.

For further information please contact: Liz Harding, CEO, [email protected]  01752 315 900