Priority Space fund vital children’s cardiac ward fish tank

Priority Space has adopted the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) as its first ever charity partner, and funded a vital resource on the children’s cardiac ward at the Leeds Children’s Hospital.

The fish tank on Ward L51 has proved vital over the years as a means of distraction for both young patients and their families.

And more importantly, many young heart patients use the tank as a goal to walk towards while recovering from their life-saving open heart surgery and other invasive procedures.

Recent feedback on the fish tank from charity supporters who have received care from the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit includes the following quotes from heart families:

“Bella has loved the fish tank forever! When she was little she loved watching them, it’s a distraction from where she was. Last year we used the fish tank as a goal/incentive to get Bella out of bed and walk after her heart surgery… it works!”

“We used the fishes to encourage Adam to get up and about and move his head, which he was reluctant to do because of his central line dressing. The play team said he could feed the fishes that day if he got up and walked to the tank!”

“My Lexi-Lou loved the fish while she was in having her heart surgery in June! They kept her calm and she then asked for one for her birthday 2 weeks later! You are amazing and what you do for our heart warriors is incredible!”

Priority Space was set up by Adam Richardson and Lee Buchanan in 2012. Based in South Yorkshire, the company delivers commercial property regeneration schemes across the UK, working with local authorities and government agencies to ensure spaces are designed and built to fit the requirements of surrounding communities.

Director Adam Richardson said:

“When CHSF approached us, we decided to back their work in supporting the specialist NHS team at Leeds, who treat children with heart conditions from across our region.

“Lee and I are both Dads with young families and can very much appreciate how terrible it must be to have a child who is ill and needs to undergo surgery and receive hospital care.

“We were also keen to support the NHS after its gruelling 18 months of dealing with Coronavirus and we hope our support for CHSF may help in a small way to boost healthcare for children with heart conditions now.”

CHSF provides vital equipment and support to Leeds General Hospital’s ‘Children’s Congenital Heart Unit’ where hundreds of babies and children with heart defects from across Yorkshire receive life-saving surgery, treatment and specialist care every year.

Almost 1 in 100 babies are born with heart disease according to NHS figures, and it is the most common form of birth defect.

Caitlin Hazell, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Children’s Heart Surgery Fund added:

“We are delighted to welcome Priority Space on board as a corporate partner to the charity. Their support will combine with other businesses’ and have a great impact on our region’s young heart patients and their families.

“You only have to read the feedback from families to show how important the fish tank is to recovery – both mentally and physically. It’s a fantastic resource which forms a hub of activity for both families and patients.”

Over the next 12 months, Priority Space are set to raise further money for CHSF and awareness of its work.

To find out more about CHSF and donate, visit chsf.org.uk/donate.

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