Thursday, 27 October 2011

Farewell Heartbeat

My team gave me a great send off today and amongst other things gave me this lovely poem. I will miss them all. It has been a pleasure working with such a dedicated bunch of people.

Our D’Arcy

Our D’Arcy, not the ballerina or that man from the period tale,
but our good humoured colleague about to set sail.

Our D’Arcy always full of cheer, ready with a kind word or a listening ear,
and well worn that ear has been, on occasion feeling the full force of the all female fundraising team.

Our D’Arcy not one to miss a photo opp,
Often with faithful friend Domino roped in as mascot.

Our D’Arcy with his full repertoire of anecdotes,
Who will keep us entertained now the time draws near for him to put on his coat.

Our D’Arcy a true team member he has been,
His empty chair will be a sore sight to be seen.

Today our ‘King of Hearts’ we lose,
Yet least we forget our D’Arcy in those zebra platform shoes.

With Best Wishes from your
Wessex Heartbeat Team

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Search for new head to lead heart charity

I would like to share the following press release with you.

Wessex Heartbeat the charity providing support to the Wessex Cardiac Centre (WCC) at the University of Southampton NHS Foundation Trust will be recruiting a new Chief Executive.

The current CEO D’Arcy Myers has been with the charity since 2008 and will be taking up a position as CEO for The Rainbow Centre in Fareham.

Wessex Heartbeat Chairman Jim Monro praised D’Arcy for his excellent work with the charity and said:-
D’Arcy has led the charity through a period of change and development. Wessex Heartbeat has helped the WCC to become an international centre of excellence for cardiac care through our support of medical and educational grants. We have exciting plans for the future development of the charity and will be looking for a charismatic CEO to help us with our current appeal to raise £800,000 for a new ward for a Young Adult Cardiac Unit (YACU) to help young adults with life-long heart problems”.

The charity will also continue to fund various projects in support of heart patients and loved ones, including patient support groups for people living with specific heart conditions or treatments.

D’Arcy commented: “I am extremely proud of the charity, especially our work with Southampton Hospital’s cardiac rehabilitation team giving healthy heart health checks and personalised advice in the work place. Plus the invaluable support we give to families of patients through Heartbeat House where we offer a free home from home accommodation on the hospital site. I will be supporting the charity to make a smooth transition with a new Chief Executive.”


Notes for Editors

For further information please contact: Dawn Morrison, PR & Marketing Officer, Wessex Heartbeat

Tel 02380 795217  E-mail

Wessex Heartbeat (WHB) was established in 1992 and is a registered charity providing support to the Wessex Cardiac Centre (WCC) at Southampton General Hospital, its patients and their loved ones. WHB has helped the WCC to become an International Centre of Excellence for Cardiac Care.

Wessex Heartbeat helps make a real difference to the care of the 20,000 patients treated at the Centre annually, including 1,000 babies and children born with congenital heart defects.

Patients treated at the Centre come from a wide region of southern England, including Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, West Sussex, Wiltshire, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.

Since the charity’s foundation Wessex Heartbeat has raised in excess of £13 million, funding numerous projects, including:
  • A £1m refurbishment of the children’s ‘Ocean Ward’
  • More than £2m worth of equipment for the WCC, including the revolutionary ‘Babypod’, which is used to safely and rapidly transport neonates and children less than 10kg to hospital.
Wessex Heartbeat continues to help patients, loved ones and medical staff in many ways:
  • Funding revolutionary and specialist equipment
  • Funding Heartbeat House, a home from home providing free of charge accommodation for patients relatives located just a few minutes walk from the hospital
  • Running the Heartbeat Education Centre at the hospital, which has state-of-the-art technology and facilitates the training of medical staff
  • Providing patient literature
  • Offering on the spot health checks to employees at businesses and organisations, as part of our ‘Your Healthy Heart’ campaign
  • Funding the refurbishment and maintenance of wards
  • Sponsoring research projects
  • Funding educational and training grants
Wessex Heartbeat does not receive any Government funding and is solely funded by the generosity of individuals and organisations, who contribute through voluntary donations, fundraising events, corporate support and legacies. Wessex Heartbeat is very thankful to all its supporters for their invaluable help, which is vital to ensure that everyone living with a heart condition receives the best possible support.

For more information about Wessex Heartbeat please call 02380 795217 or visit
Wessex Heartbeat, PO Box 270, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, Hampshire, SO16 6GE

Registered Charity Number 1116510
Company Limited by Guarantee Number 5924982

Friday, 7 October 2011

From the perspective of a SME how would you want to work with a charity?

A few days ago I posted the following question to a LinkedIn group. I think the replies make interesting reading.

The question: “From the perspective of a SME how would you want to work with a charity? What would your measures of a successful relationship be?”

The comments:

“I would work with a charity for two reasons: number one - I feel good if I know I helped someone and number two - I feel good if other people recognize that I did something good”

“I think that moving forward SME's need to straddle both working with charities for shared strategic goals (geographical location, community, social issue and/or stakeholders), but also maintaining close relationships with charities close to the hearts of people within the SME (due to personal situations/experiences).”

“Making a difference is key here and should be at the forefront of the relationship. But the relationships need a clear measurable ways of how each can and will make a difference together.”

“If SME's are committed to this, a one-off feel good event, whilst laudable may not be enough. So an SME and charity relationship needs measurable strategic and personal targets so that the relationship can begin to share successes and aspirations for 'making a difference'. This should help enhance and support the success of the charity in the future and create a 'deeper' longer lasting feel good factor and more genuine commitment to 'making a difference' across the SME.”

“giving less or giving more? and does it matter? donations are not just about getting more business and generating more business is not just about making more money...there is much more in this world apart from money and for free large or small from the bottom of your heart is all that matters”

“…I really do like the idea sustainable difference and shared goals you can measure (in line with D'Arcy's question), without this giving for free is still an amazing thing little or small!”

“Hopefully where possible SME's can make long term relationships with charities. I am certain would be the way forward for both the benefit of the SME's (maybe not for more business/money, maybe good for staff...), but ultimately to the benefit of the charity and their ability to make a difference (and bigger measurable difference) in the future.”

“We would like to embed the social caring into our Brand awareness so that the element of putting something back into society is pre-structured. Part of this process is to engage the charity social media and develop positive perceptions and recognition while another part is to introduce our clients & customers to the automatic positive benefits of the shared goals we and our causes have.”

“Charity work should be connected to what our core business is, because that's where we can help most. For example, If I had a bakery I would cooperate with an NGO that works with young people at risk of social exclusion, training them to be bakers so they can have a perspective in the future. I think this is the best way to embed charity work in our company culture, and also a way to differentiate ourselves from other companies.”

“I agree ( with the statement above ), it must stem from a fundamental belief that the business and consumers share and be demonstrable so that the cause is creating a magnetism between the two who happily become attracted. Then D'Arcy's question gets answered because the measure becomes the volume of co-operation between consumers, customers friends acquaintances and strangers who are attracted to engage with the business for common the focussed "good". Otherwise known as a fan club.”

I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on this. Please post a comment on my blog.