Pupils aid children with heart problems

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Youngsters with heart conditions across Yorkshire are set to benefit from the fundraising efforts of parents, pupils and staff at a leading independent Harrogate school.

Belmont Grosvenor School, an ‘outstanding’ co-educational prep school based at Swarcliffe Hall, Birstwith, chose the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund as their charity for 2015.

And this week the charity’s Chief Executive and Regional Fundraiser dropped into school to pick up a cheque for £3,550.

The money, raised at Belmont Grosvenor School’s PTA-organised summer ball and through a series of fundraising activities in school, will be used by the charity

to buy 11 INR self-testing kits for patients undergoing treatment at the Children’s Heart Unit at Leeds General Infirmary.

CHSF Chief Executive Sharon Coyle said she was delighted the school had managed to raise so much money throughout the year – in total almost £4,000 after Belmont Grosvenor headteacher Jane Merriman scaled Ben Nevis in aid of the charity in the summer holidays.

Ms Coyle said the self-testing kits would have a positive impact on patient care in the hospital, enabling them to take control of a small part of their treatment.

“Enabling the child to take control of a small part of their treatment has a huge positive psychological impact,” she said.

“Preventing time away from school and reducing waiting times are another advantage for both the patient and the hospital, but the most important thing is they can ultimately save lives.

“The readings from these machines are vital in determining the thickness of the blood, as this particular group of children are at risk of stroke. We hope one day the NHS will fund them,” she added.

Throughout the year, pupils at Belmont Grosvenor School, based at Swarcliffe Hall, Birstwith, near Harrogate, took part in a series of fund-raising events,

including sponsored keep fit sessions and an in-school painting competition.

The winners of the competition had their pictures framed and were invited into LGI to hang them on the wall, as well as cut the ceremonial ribbon to open the new children’s waiting room.

Belmont Grosvenor School and its Magic Tree Nursery is three miles from the centre of Harrogate and caters for children from three months to 11 years.

Each year parents and pupils at the school choose a charity to support – they picked the CHSF as drama teacher Catherine Fearn’s one-year-old nephew Jack

Hartley underwent life-saving surgery at the unit when he was just weeks old.

Caroline Huber, past chairman of Belmont Grosvenor School’s PTA, said: “It was such an honour to work with the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund this year.

“The entire school community has been inspired by this charity which has enabled us to raise such a wonderful amount. Many thanks to everyone for their

support,” she added.