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5 Ways your Regular Gift can Make a Difference

23 Jul

335,171 people in Northern Ireland are living with chest, heart and stroke conditions today – that’s 1 in 5 of us!

Despite that, almost 90% of NICHS’s care services are funded exclusively by public donations. We rely on you, and so do the survivors we care for.

Setting up a regular donation allows us, as a charity, to plan for the future and to expand our services to meet your needs.

But just what exactly could your regular donation do for our work? Here are five real ways your gift could make a difference:

1. £5 a month supports a newly-diagnosed stroke patient and their family on their road to recovery

Our Family Support Coordinators help stroke survivors and their families as they navigate life following a stroke. 

We have Co-ordinators working all across Northern Ireland.  A local co-ordinator will visit the home of a stroke survivor when they get out of hospital, and will listen to the person's individual situation, and provide information and personalised support for that person, including practical advice and a fast-track referral for support with benefits.  

A lot of the time, this visit can be an emotional one - often, people tell us that their visit is the first time they felt like someone was there for them to really listen and understand how their stroke has affected them. We know that a stroke doesn't just impact the person affected, but can also cause shockwaves across the whole family.  That's why we call it the Stroke Family Support Service - as our co-ordinators are here to help carers and family members too.

During the COVID-19 pandemic we’re still providing this service, with an initial phone call assessment rather than a home visit.

To this day I still remember the visit from the NICHS Stroke Family Support Co–ordinator. There is a lot I don’t remember of that time but I remember her visit because for the first time things didn’t seem so dark. She was like a light at the end of the tunnel.

- Raymond, Stroke Survivor

2. £10 a month pays for testing kits used by our heart researchers; research that saves local lives.

Research 2

Almost a quarter of all deaths in the last year, about 10 people every single day, were due to circulatory (heart) diseases. However, in the last eight years alone, your donations have allowed us to give almost £2.5 million to research to tackle these conditions.

For example, a current study we are funding has built tech that can take a photograph of the blood vessels in the eye, and using this, assess a person's risk of heart disease. The ultimate aim is to have this technology in every High Street eye testing store. Predicting your chances of developing these diseases early, means that you can get treatment and support earlier, hopefully improving your chances of recovery, and reducing the terrible impact of untreated heart disease for all of us.

Groundbreaking research like this can only be funded with your help, and as little as £10 a month can provide test kits for researchers, helping to further this project and make more breakthroughs.

3. £15 a month provides health services for 3 homeless people, those at the greatest risk of chest, heart and stroke illness.

Health and homeless 5

We’re all at risk of chest, heart and stroke illnesses but for those who are homeless, the risk is even greater and often, they don’t have access to a GP or the conditions that support healthy lifestyle choices. That’s why it’s our Health and Homeless Programme is so important.

Our Health and Homeless service aims to raise awareness of healthy living and help to reduce the risk of chest, heart and stroke conditions.

We do this by providing:

  • Health promotion information and resources for hostels
  • Online Health Champion Training for hostel staff including training in delivering blood pressure and Atrial Fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) checks.
  • Online and Face to Face Health Checks and Talks for hostel residents

Just £15 can help us provide these services in hostels right here in Northern Ireland, helping local families and people who are homeless.

4. £20 a month puts a long COVID patient through our unique 6-week COVID Recovery Service.

Our COVID-19 Recovery Service supports local people living with Long COVID.

The 6 week programme provides people with tools to manage their condition better and improve their confidence. It also connects them to people with similar conditions, who understand what it’s like to live with a long–term condition. 

A lot of the time, this sense of understanding and being listened to can be life changing for someone living with a long term condition like Long COVID.


“The biggest thing was the relief that you weren’t on your own. Every week you got a phone call which was fantastic because up until then nobody had really taken an interest outside of close friends and family.”

- Rebecca, living with Long COVID

5. £50 a month cares for 25 individuals with debilitating heart conditions, providing support and rehab through our ‘Heart Strong’ programme.

ECG Heart Wave
Our Heart Strong Programme provides a range of heart health and recovery services as a follow-on from statutory Cardiac Rehab.

Our Heart Strong services include Walking groups, helping people living with a heart condition to continue exercising after cardiac rehab and improve their health, fitness and confidence, as well as programmes to support the person's physical, emotional and mental recovery overall.

Having a heart attack or being diagnosed with a heart condition can be totally devastating for a person, and can have debilitating effects. Our Heart Strong service helps them recover and return to living life to the fullest.

How do I give a Regular Gift?

Setting up a direct debit is simple!

  1. Complete the direct debit online form below.
  2. Or, request a form and prepaid return envelope. Contact us on 028 90 266 6743 or
  3. Choose how much you would like to give and for how long (you can cancel at any time!). Remember, any amount, big or small, makes a difference.
  4. Donations can be made monthly, quarterly or annually – you decide.
  5. If at any time you need a break, we will put your donation on hold until you’re ready to start again.

How your Regular Donation can help...

To find out more about giving a regular gift, click here.