CRY has added a brand new vehicle to its fleet of vans which travel the length and breadth of the UK, thanks to the incredible fundraising efforts of bereaved parents David and Sue Hughes. Costing around £25,000, the new vehicle will see around 50,000 young people screened during its time of service with CRY.
Along with their daughter, Kim, David and Sue Hughes have raised over £250,000 for CRY, leading to the screening of over 2,100 young adults in memory of their son, Daniel, who died aged just 28 from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. A further 17 screening events have also been booked in with CRY’s team. To date, 62 young people have been identified as referred for further investigation for a potential heart condition through screenings funded by Dan’s memorial fund.
As well as screening many young people (aged 14-35) from the local area, Dave is also committed to funding the screening of young employees and apprentices based at the BAE Systems site in Cumbria where David is currently based during the week. “When I came to work in Barrow in Furness it became very apparent that CRY was not well known, so I set about changing that and it has gone very well,” David said. “In addition to the BAE systems screenings we are holding a public screening weekend in Barrow and a private 2-day event in Workington, both in November.”
Daniel (a loyal Stoke City fan) was a fit, sporty and very popular local postman. He passed away in his sleep five years ago this month, with his sudden death causing shockwaves across his entire local community. The Hughes family initially set out to provide a minimum of 200 local young people in the West Midlands with access to annual heart screenings. However, after their fundraising and screening targets exceeded all expectations, they have continued their campaign, as well as opening a memorial garden to Daniel at Audley Football Club where he used to play, and purchasing a new ECG machine (which will now become part of the core screening equipment on “Dan’s Van.”)
The van, with a new eye-catching design to increase awareness of CRY’s work as it travels around the country, was unveiled for the first time at a screening event on 14 and 15 March, held in memory of Dan at Spondon Scout HQ.
David says the following: “Sue, Kim and myself are extremely proud to be able to provide CRY with this new van. ‘Dan’s Van’ is something we’ve been working on for about 12 months and thanks to the generosity of his many supporters we’ve been able to deliver it 6 months sooner than planned without affecting his screening programme. We hope it provides CRY with many years of reliable service as it travels the country with the screening teams.”
CRY Chief Executive Dr Steven Cox adds: “We owe it to everyone who comes to CRY to be tested to be certain that we are working with the very best and most up-to-date equipment available to us. I would like to thank Dave, Sue and all of Daniel’s family and friends for working so hard and tirelessly to raise the funds for an ECG machine and our amazing new van, which will help to enhance CRY’s screening service and ensure we can continue to travel far and wide, bringing our experts to as many young people as possible.”