A gym facility for people who have suffered with heart attacks and strokes. Secondly, to help educate and train the general public with cardiac disease prevention. Non profit making and all excess funds are allocated to Derriford Hospital cardiac patient care. Plymouth Heartbeat is a registered charity which supports cardiac patients and research into cardiovascular disease.
The aim of this very unique place is to help prevent cardiac disease and to continue supporting cardiac patients, whether that involves helping rehabilitate or making sure they are comfortable when at the hospital.
We will do whatever we can to help.
Plymouth Heartbeat is run by volounteers that work for simply the pleasure of knowing that they are helping.
Plymouth Heartbeart was first started due to the lack of support for cardiac patients. Barbara Luckham, a patients wife, and Valerie Fryer, a cardiac nurse, started the support group in 1993. Two other cardiac nurses, Dominic Earl and Jackie Scobie, joined the team later.
In 1994 we registered as a charity and became affiliated with the British Heart Foundation and we continue to work with them donating to research into cardiac disease.
One of the first tasks was to start the campaign for the Cardiac Sugical Unit at Derriford Hospital. Fortunately the campaign was a success and it meant that more heart patients were treated in Plymouth rather then London meaning that patients would be closer to family and friends during this worrying time.
Initially we met on the first Tuesday of each month at Tothill Community Centre for several months until we recieved a permanent room at Plymouth Argyle Football Club courtesy of Lou Weeks an Argyle steward . We worked as a support group for each other and talked through our fears and insecurities, surgeries and medications, also we would raise funds for patients comfort at the hospital. Patient care and comfort is our primary aim as well as the prevention of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD).
In 2000 an exercise group for cardiac patients and their carers was started. We obtained a grant from the Big Lottery Fund in 2002 which gave us the opportunity to employ a cardiac nurse and a B.A.C.R. trainer, (British Association for Cardiac Rehabilitation), for phase IV rehabilitation. This has proved enormously popular with over 180 former cardiac patients and carers using the facility each week. Also we have over 500 members of the general public enjoying a structured exercise program that will help towards CHD prevention each week.