Fantastic fundraisers from Wearside are celebrating after they were named the best in the country.
Volunteers from Sunderland branch of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) have taken home the award for Best Fundraising Group or Branch in England.
The branch, which has been running for 42 years, has raised more than £500,000 to fund life-saving research and their enthusiasm and dedication has earned them the top spot for groups across the country.
Each year the group’s volunteers organise and attend collections, fundraising fairs and events to raise money and awareness for the BHF as well as hosting the Roker Ramble seafront walk, which encourages families to get fit and raise money to fund heart research.
Each year about 703 people with cardiovascular disease in Sunderland will lose their fight.
Nikki Bell, fundraising manager for the Tyne and Wear area, said: “Our Sunderland Branch are one of our longest-running fundraising groups and we are beyond grateful for all of their work and fundraising.
“Each year they raise thousands in the fight against heart disease and thanks to their work, lives will be saved in future and families will be kept together longer.”
In Sunderland there are 36,400 people living with cardiovascular disease and we’re determined to help and support these people as much as we can.
“Our Sunderland Branch are helping us to do this and we want to thank them for everything they do – the award is much deserved,” Nikki axdded.
Michael Roper, branch secretary said: “I got involved after my dad died following a heart attack and I was treated for my own heart problems.
“I wanted to give something back and after meeting the branch at a local superstore and organising a sponsored fishing competition, I was hooked.
“I am proud of what the branch has achieved and so happy we have won Group or Branch of the Year.”
The BHF is now calling on Wearsiders to join the award-winning group and keep winning the fight against heart disease.
Every pound raised from the organisation’s fundraising groups helps to fund vital research and identify new treatments that could help save lives.
For more information or to find your local group, go to www.bhf.org.uk/localfundraising or alternatively contact Nikki Bell by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.