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Help us keep caring through COVID this Christmas

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Meet the people we're bringing hope to this Christmas

We're still here for local people with chest, heart and stroke conditions this Christmas, continuing to care and rebuild local lives during COVID and beyond.

People like....

NICHS Caring Through Covid SCTC Page Cards 388 x 194 Ivan

Ivan from Belfast

"My name is Ivan Black - I'm a 67-year-old husband and father living in Belfast. After getting treatment for cancer in 2015, I was left with breathing problems. During my Respiratory Rehabilitation I was introduced to NICHS’s Taking Control Self-Management Programme – which helped give me the skills and confidence to keep moving and stay well.

"But since early March, I have had to stay at home to avoid contracting COVID-19. I used to love going out and about, but now I'm afraid to leave the house. NICHS’s face to face services had to stop, but I've been offered so much support. When I started to receive regular calls from NICHS, I thought it was great. Despite the loss of the local group, there was a friendly voice at the end of the phone who could talk to me and make sure I had information and support. Having that local support is so important and it's helped to keep me fighting against COVID.

"As Christmas approaches, who knows what it will bring. I don't want to be a burden on the NHS, but if I continue to have NICHS's support, I know it will go a long way to help keep people like me safe and well through COVID."

Mandy Tandragee 28cd

Mandy from Tandragee

"I had a stroke in 2018. When I was recovering in hospital, I didn’t know what was to become of me. Bertie had had a stroke five years earlier. Would we be able to stay in our home together when we both had a disability? Would we be like two people with only one fully functioning body between us? A short time later, NI Chest Heart & Stroke came into my life. After Christmas 2018 I did two 6-week sessions of its PREP programme (post rehab exercise programme). It was great to meet other people in the same position.

"When lockdown started this year, I was worried about what would happen when we could no longer meet. But Beth, who runs the group, was on the phone immediately. Chest Heart & Stroke weren’t stopping anything. We started a Zoom group so we could continue to get together, and Beth started sending out little newsletters to keep our spirits up. We also shared poppy seeds by post, and we’re all growing yellow poppies. That may seem small, but it’s not. The ability to keep in touch has been brilliant. Chest Heart & Stroke is right up there with the best things that have happened to me since having my stroke."

Breidge and husband

Breidge from Camlough

"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. But the support of Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke has helped enormously in changing my life for the better. Without them, I would never have progressed as far as I have in 2020.

"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.

"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."

Almost 90% of our vital work is funded by donations. Help us to keep Caring through COVID for local people living with chest, heart and stroke conditions this Christmas and beyond.

While this year may be a bit different and times are hard for everyone, we can still make it a season of joy and hope for those most at risk in our communities - with your help.

Big or small, there are so many ways to support us this Christmas!

  • 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.


  • 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

  • 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

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