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This Christmas your support will help bring hope to local people more than ever

Breidge and husband

My name is Breidge and without the support of Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke this year I would never have progressed as far as I have.

When I had a stroke in 2018, I never thought in a million years that I would suffer another one 13 months later.

I found it very hard to accept the idea that, in my 50s, I would have to face long-term disability and need a battery-powered wheelchair to get around for the rest of my life.

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I was a childminder, a job I loved, but had to give it up. I was also no longer able to help my husband on our farm in County Armagh. Hope and optimism were in very short supply. But the support of Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke has helped enormously in changing my life for the better.

Until a stroke changes your life, it’s very hard to appreciate the impact it can have. I couldn’t go to the bathroom on my own. I was like a child learning to get dressed and put its shoes on. I had to be put to bed at night and helped up in the morning. I have overcome some of those challenges, but I still can’t put on a jumper. I’m determined, though, that I’ll do that some-day too.

Coronavirus has changed everything, of course. Our face-to-face support group meetings have had to be suspended, but we’re still able to meet via video conference. I also know that wonderful NICHS care staff are only a phone call away any time I need them. It’s great having the support and encouragement of family and friends, but sometimes it takes somebody from outside your domestic circle to push you on to your next goal in your recovery.

After my second stroke, I literally couldn’t stand on my own two feet. Now, although I have the wheelchair, I can walk around using a stick. I can make the dinner and clear out and lay the fire. Sometimes, of course, there are bumps on the road. I was peeling carrots recently and found it so hard to manage with the limited strength in my arm that I threw the whole bowl across the floor in frustration. But I picked them up and finished the job. I don’t like anything to beat me. There’s no such thing as “can’t do.”

Without the generosity of people like you, I might never have had the opportunity to take part in NICHS’s rehabilitation exercise and support programmes, which have helped rebuild my strength and boosted my confidence.

Now, I’m asking for your help to make this lifeline available for other people who are suffering strokes right now and can’t see the light at the end of what seems like a long, dark tunnel.

Please support Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke to give people a helping hand. It’s a lonely and difficult journey to try to attempt on your own, especially during COVID.

Breidge photo and signature

Thank you.

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  • At least 80p in every £1 raised or donated is spent delivering our life-changing care and prevention services, as well as funding local research into these illnesses.

    How does NICHS spend donations?

    Thanks to our loyal supporters we raised more than £3.35 Million last year to support our programmes across Northern Ireland.

    £1.39 Million was spent on delivering our care support programmes, £576k was spent on delivering our prevention programmes and £736k on local research into chest, heart and stroke related conditions.

    In other words, for every £1 raised, around 80p, went directly to funding our care and prevention programmes as well as research to help fight chest, heart and stroke conditions.

    How you can help

    Over 335,000 people in Northern Ireland are living with chest, heart and stroke conditions, and these illnesses are responsible for 37% of all adult deaths every year. That's almost 6,000 people. Every day across Northern Ireland 11 people will suffer a stroke and 17 will have a heart attack.

    With your support we are able to continue our vital care and prevention work across the community, caring for people who are living with chest, heart and stroke conditions and helping prevent people becoming ill in the first place.


    Support us today and help us lead the fight against chest, heart and stroke illnesses across Northern Ireland.

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  • What is Gift Aid?

    Gift Aid is a scheme that allows charities to reclaim tax on a donation made by a UK taxpayer, which means your donations will be worth 25% more to us at no extra cost to you. If you Gift Aid your donations we can claim back from the government 25p for every £1 you donate to Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke.

    This additional income really does make a big difference, so please don't forget to Gift Aid donations if you are a UK tax payer.

    You could make your donation to us NICHS worth even more!

    Whether you are making a cash donation, setting up a regular gift, or asking friends and family to sponsor you in an event, your donation could be worth an extra 25% thanks to the Gift Aid donations scheme. Last year, we were able to reclaim over £74,000 through donations that were gift aided which contributed towards our care and prevention programmes.

    Gift Aid Calculator

    How it works:

    Under the Gift Aid scheme, if you are a UK taxpayer, the Government allows charities to reclaim 25p of every pound you give – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny! With your permission NICHS can re-claim this tax on your behalf.

    Once you’ve read the Gift Aid statement and are happy you can comply with it, simply tick the Gift Aid box to say you agree that NICHS can reclaim tax for you. If you’d prefer to complete a paper version of our Gift Aid Declaration form and post it into our office, you can download a pdf version by clicking on the button below.

    If you’d like to find out how much more your donation would be if it was Gift Aided, just use the calculator below.

    Click here to download a Gift Aid Declaration

    What we need to claim Gift Aid

    • Your full name and home address
    • The donation amount you are giving. We can accept cash also.
    • We can't claim Gift Aid on donations from company accounts. The donation must be your own money and not the proceeds of a collection.
    • For you to confirm that you pay income tax or capital gains tax which at least equals the amount NICHS and other charities and community amateur sports clubs will claim in the appropriate tax year (6 April one year to 5 April the next). This is currently 25p for every £1 you give.
    • Using the declaration form, we can claim Gift Aid on all your donations in the last 4 years and all future donations.
    • Once you have become a Gift Aid donor, please let us know if you stop paying tax or if you change your name/address so that we can update our records.
  • If you would like any further help, or have any questions, please contact Supporter Care on 028 9026 6743 or supportercare@nichs.org.uk

  • The work that we do is only possible because of the generous donations that we receive from our supporters. You are very important to us. Thank you so much for helping us in the care and prevention of chest, heart and stroke illnesses across Northern Ireland.

    When you make a donation to Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke, we promise that :

    • Your donation will be used wisely, responsibly and for the purpose given.
    • If a donation is made for a specific purpose we will honour that request.
    • We will safeguard your personal information in line with Data Protection principles.
    • We will communicate with you in accordance with your wishes.
    • Queries or complaints will be responded to as quickly as possible.
    • Administration costs will be kept to a minimum.
    • Your support will be acknowledged and we will keep you updated about how you are helping people who suffer from chest, heart or stroke illnesses.
    • Fundraisers will respect you as a donor and will be transparent in their dealings with you at all times.
    • Fundraisers will work to the highest professional standards and will adhere to the practices and guidelines as directed by the Institute of Fundraising.
    • Where donations are solicited indirectly, i.e. by 3rd party agencies, we recognise that donors have the right to request information about them.

    If you have any questions, please contact Supporter Care on 028 9026 6743 or supportercare@nichs.org.uk.

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