Cash boost to Valley heart fund thanks to the kindness of church group

Big-hearted members of St Michael and St John's Church Ladies Group present cheque to Dr Lucy Astle
Big-hearted members of St Michael and St John's Church Ladies Group present cheque to Dr Lucy Astle

Twelve months of hard work and fundraising by a Clitheroe church group has resulted in £2,000 being donated to help keep hearts ticking.

Members of St Michael and St John's Church Ladies Group presented a cheque for £2,000 to Clitheroe's Dr Lucy Astle to boost the coffers of the Ribble Valley Heart Fund.

The money, which will be used to buy essential medical equipment to help patients, was raised over the course of the year and through a variety of events including a fashion show and a ukulele band concert.

The Ribble Valley Heart Fund is a registered charity which has been supporting local GP practices since 1979. It helps fund the purchase and upkeep of equipment used in the diagnosis and ongoing treatment of heart-related conditions.

A spokesman said: "The money will fund hand-held devices to support patients taking Warfarin, a blood-thinning medication, taken for a condition called atrial fibrillation. This is an irregular heart beat, which puts patients at risk of suffering from a stroke. Warfarin reduces this risk, but it requires regular monitoring in the form of blood tests at the GP practice. For the last two years, GP practices in the Ribble Valley have offered self-monitoring of Warfarin therapy as part of a pilot project supported by the Innovation Agency. The hand-held devices allow patients to test their own blood at home and send the result to their GP practice through their mobile phone or computer. It therefore provides flexibility for patients and reduces the need for regular appointments at the practice. However, the cost of the devices means that this service is not yet widely available on the NHS."