In Brentford, a journey started a year ago, bringing together a community, a football club and charities with a shared mission to improve cardiac health and save lives.
Suzanne Rowan, has been a leading figure in the campaign, with her leadership of the A K A Day charity, which was launched in memory of her late husband, Robert Rowan.
Suzanne said: “Being part of Heart of West London has opened up a wonderfully supportive community for A K A Day. Being a small group of friends, setting up A K A Day has been hugely rewarding to raise money for CRY in memory of Robert Rowan and the Heart of West London partnership has helped take this to another level.
“This year, over 250 supporters moved 1k, 2k or 5k every day in May allowing us to help more people to benefit from daily exercise and, in turn, raise money and awareness for more cardiac screenings to save lives.
“Over the past year, with the strength of Brentford FC and fans behind us, alongside Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young, Resuscitation Council UK and Pablo London, we have been able to reach a whole new audience and help elevate cardiac health as a priority for all.
Dr. Steven Cox, chief executive of Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), expressed deep gratitude for the longstanding support from Brentford FC and the profound impact of the Heart of West London partnership.
He emphasised: “We feel privileged to have been supported by Brentford FC for many years, and the Heart of West London partnership is an incredible, collaborative initiative which will help to save many young lives.”
Richard Bowyer, chief executive of Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity, expressed the immense value of their role in the Heart of West London partnership.
He emphasised: “Our charity hugely values the opportunity to be part of the Heart of West London partnership, working closely with Brentford FC and a range of fantastic charities to change the game for people at risk of heart disease.
“Thanks to the wonderful Brentford fans, who have taken part in runs, bought T-shirts or made donations, we are well on our way to raising the funding we need to support Dr. Sabiha Gati’s groundbreaking research into sudden cardiac death in athletes and young people.
He highlighted the crucial role of early detection, stating: “The more we learn about what causes heart disease, the earlier treatment begins – and ultimately the more lives that are saved. Thank you to everyone who has helped Heart of West London so far, you make all the difference.”
Dr. Cant also highlighted the campaign’s role in reaching new audiences with a life-saving message, stating: “Over the past year, we have seen significant engagement with the partnership on match days, across our social channels, and with grassroots teams; helping us to reach new audiences with our life-saving message that early CPR and defibrillation can more than double survival rates for cardiac arrest.”
The Heart of West London initiative, driven by collaboration and inspired by the memory of Robert Rowan reinforces that, together, we have the power to make a meaningful impact, one heartbeat at a time.