Welcome to Salford Heart Care
Proud Winners of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2014.
Salford Heart Care is a limited company (No. 7204528) and an independent registered charity (No: 1136710). Established in 1987 we have been running for more than 32 years! Our most recent developments include launching our first Bereavement Support Group in June 2018 and opening a new club in Salford at St. Luke’s Comunity Hall.
Our aim is to:
- Prevent heart disease and heart attacks
- Reduce social isolation in communities
- Improve health and emotional well-being
- provide after care and support for people (and carers) with heart conditions and long term illnesses
- Reduce the risk of further heart attacks
Salford Heart Care is the place for practical, social and emotional support for heart care patients, their families and carers.
Why it Matters?….Some Statistics:
- Deprivation in Salford is 48% against 20% nationally;
- Early deaths in Salford from heart disease and stroke are 40% higher than nationally;
- Life expectancy in Salford for men is 71.2 years against 80.1 nationally;
- Life expectancy in Salford for women is 76.4 against 87.7 nationally;
- Collectively, heart and circulatory diseases [which include heart disease and stroke] cause more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK, accounting for more than 161,000 deaths each year;
- The cost of premature death, lost productivity, hospital treatment and prescriptions is estimated at £19 billion;
- Someone dies of a heart attack in the UK every 7 minutes;
- Cardiac rehabilitation which includes education, psychological support and exercise can reduce the risk of a further heart attack by approximately 29%
Salford Heart Care employs one part-time member of staff and seeks additional support and commitment from its team of more than 50 local volunteers. The Directors of the organisation are also volunteers. For more information about our staff and Directors, take a look who’s who at Salford Heart Care.
Salford Heart Care was founded by Bernard Hamilton, with the support of his family, in August 1987 (known then as “Salford Heart Care Support Club”).
Bernard Hamilton suffered from heart disease all his life. His first suspected heart attack (which went un-diagnosed) was in 1962 at the age of 23. Three further heart attacks followed. In all, Bernard Hamilton was admitted to hospital through A&E over 20 times with angina pains and other heart related problems. As his heart disease progressed, Bernard became more and more exhausted and he was eventually forced to give up full-time employment. In hospital, Bernard was treated for the “physical effects” of his heart attacks. There was no rehabilitation…..there was no support….nobody helped him to come to terms with his illness….no advice was given on how he could best cope after leaving hospital….no-one had the time to listen to his anxieties about having further attacks and his concerns about the future.
Bernard’s third heart attack took place in 1987, and he was one of the first patients at Wythenshawe Hospital (now University Hospital of South Manchester) to receive a triple bypass. After this event, Bernard Hamilton resolved to set up a heart support group himself. He persuaded three other heart attack sufferers with whom he had been in hospital to join him and “Salford Heart Care Support Club”, the forerunner of Salford Heart Care, was born.
Initially, under the banner “call in for a chat and a cuppa”, the group’s sole activity was to meet together periodically to share information and personal experiences. Bernard Hamilton managed to lead Salford Heart Care Support Club through its first year. However his triple bypass, the added pressure of seeking to provide tangible, practical help and support for other heart attack sufferers and worries about his own family, made life increasingly stressful for him. In 1988 whilst on holiday with his wife, Bernard Hamilton suffered a fourth heart attack which sadly proved fatal. He died at the age of 49.
Bernard’s legacy lives on……the support offered by Salford Heart Care continues to develop and the organisation has successfully progressed over the years. We now offer vital emotional and social support, plus a wide variety of activities across the City of Salford through our “Healthy Heart Clubs”. Our aim is to improve the health and well being of local people, and to prevent heart disease, whilst reducing the risk of further heart attacks among those with heart-related illnesses. We also extend our support to families and carers of those with poor health. Furthermore, our new Bereavement Support Group launched in June 2018.
Our Healthy Heart Clubs
For those who want to become more physically active, or develop greater confidence in their mobility, we offer gentle exercise sessions, dancing and tai chi. For those seeking emotional support, and the opportunity to gain a better understanding of how stress can impact health and well being, our stress management sessions and group relaxation therapy are crucial. Our one-to-one holistic therapies (such as reiki and head massage) also help to restore well being and a sense of calm and relaxation. We also offer weight management support, together with healthy living advice and informative presentations delivered by health care professionals.
We are a member-led charity and we rely on the support and commitment of our team of volunteers. We encourage members to take an active role at the clubs, and the majority of our volunteers initially came seeking support and advice following a heart attack or diagnosis with a long-term illness. In June 2014 Salford Heart Care was awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The award is the equivalent of an MBE for volunteer groups and recognises the commitment, dedication and support of our team of more than 50 volunteers across Salford!
Our volunteers put a great deal of time and effort into organising a range of social activities, group holidays and day trips. These activities are often subsidised, thanks to the fundraising efforts of our supporters, and as a result they are extremely popular. Group outings and events reduce feelings of social isolation and develop community cohesion and a sense of belonging.
Read one of our case studies on how the sessions have helped and supported one of our members.
Interested in Joining Us?
We would love to see you at one of our Healthy Heart Club sessions. You do not need to have a heart condition. Please visit our branches page to find out more about where and when we meet. New members are always made welcome.
There are many benefits to be gained from our support. Discussing mutual experiences can help with feelings of depression, frustration and anxiety. Coming to terms with a whole new way of life needs support for the patient their families and carers. The result of meeting others in a group situation can be that confidence is renewed and restored. Our therapists are qualified professionals covered by relevant insurances.
Members attending our Healthy Heart Clubs can join in at their own pace and enjoy a variety of activities including:
- gentle exercise
- tai chi
- holistic therapies
- weight management advice
- arts and crafts such as card making and crocheting
- healthy eating support
- indoor games
What’s more…..there’s no pressure to take part! You can come along for a ‘cuppa and a chat’ if you prefer!
Liaison With Other Groups
Salford Heart Care has close associations with Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Team. We work in partnership with Salford Community Leisure (SCL) and local Health Improvement Teams. We are affiliated to the British Heart Foundation and we received a Gold Level Cardiac Smart Award in 2013 from North West Ambulance Service (NWAS).
Our Patron is Dr Alan Fitchet, Consultant Cardiologist at Salford Royal Hospital.
Want to Support Us?
Follow us on Twitter: @Salford_HeartC