It’s been a very busy and successful year for Tiny Tickers, and I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our amazing supporters.
Because of you, during 2015 we have trained more sonographers; spread more awareness; supported more families; and had a big impact lobbying for service improvements.
We couldn’t have done that without you – our wonderful supporters – and I can’t thank you enough. You’ve really shown what big hearts you have with incredible fundraising events and challenges taking place across the UK – and far beyond.
From the South West to Scotland; from Northern Ireland to London – fundraisers have been doing everything from running races to baking cakes; from arranging balls to jumping out of planes. Tiny Tickers even made it to Everest basecamp this year thanks to one intrepid supporter.
I’ve been lucky enough to get along to few fundraising events. Whether it was meeting runners at the Great North Run, or sampling cakes at a bake sale in York, one thing shone through – just how dedicated our supporters are.
You have a passion for helping babies with serious heart conditions. You have a desire to improve things. You want to help.
- We are delivering free training of sonographers across the Yorkshire and Humber region – so far we’ve trained more than 100 and we’re aiming to increase that to around 200.
- Our trainers have delivered hands-on tuition to sonographers around the country – including in Bolton, Manchester and Nottingham
- We’ve campaigned for improvements in the standards set by the NHS – helping to win changes including cutting the times between a sonographer spotting a potential defect and an appointment with the specialist
- We’ve successfully lobbied to ensure specially trained cardiac nurses are either in diagnosis meetings or get in touch with parents on the day of diagnosis – ensuring support starts straight away
- We’ve spread the Think HEART message (the signs a newborn may have an undiagnosed heart condition) to thousands of new parents in the UK
- Our Big Tick awareness information has been sent to hundreds of mums-to-be across the country
- We’ve teamed up with the British Lung Foundation and TAMBA to launch a new national coalition to fight bronchiolitis
And these are only the start of our ambitions – you can also read about our plans for 2016, which is shaping up to be the busiest and most exciting year in our history:
- We are planning to roll out new major regional training schemes – offering training to over 500 sonographers
- We aim to deliver our Big Tick and Think HEART awareness campaign materials to 10,000 health professionals and thousands more parents across the UK
- We are launching new support and information materials aimed at parents who have had a diagnosis of CHD, and whose babies are facing heart surgery
- We will grow the health professionals resource centre on our website – offering new and innovative training materials that are unavailable elsewhere
- We are backing new projects looking to improve the way parents are given the news their baby has CHD, and the way data on detection rates is collected
The end of one year is, of course, a time for reflection, and we think also of those who have lost little ones, and of those who are set to fight big battles in 2016. CHD is cruel, and our hearts go out to all those who have suffered loss. Your courage fuels our determination to make a difference.
So, as we come towards the end of 2015, I wish you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Health and happiness,