Winner scores for charity

A generous Lancashire Telegraph competition winner has boosted a scheme to screen Darwen youngsters for heart defects.

Janet Stuart, 36, of Peniscowles, Blackburn, won the Rovers into Europe competition earlier this year and donated her prize to Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) charity.

Four VIP tickets to watch Blackburn Rovers’ European home game against FC Salzburg on September 28 from the dug-out are now on offer in a raffle to raise money for a cardiac screening session for young people.

The local branch of CRY was set up by two couples whose sons died young of undiagnosed heart defects.

Irene and Bill Wickers, of Darwen and Granville and Susan Staff, of Hoddlesden, lost their sons Neil, 31, and David, 17, within a few years of each other.

Neil, who had a five-year-old daughter, died in 1996 from a virus and QEGS pupil David died in 1995 while competing 9n a rod race. Janet, owner of The Academy hair salon in Ewood, Blackburn, said:

“Irene has been a customer for many years.

“Her son died from heart-related problems and I am a supporter of the charity.

“I helped out when the first heart-screening took place. They were held in my studio but moved to Darwen Access Point when they grew. I have donated prizes in the past.”

The charity’s fundraising efforts have enabled them to buy two electro-cardiogram machines and hold a number of screening sessions locally to prevent other families going through the same heartache.

Irene Wickers aid: “Janet is a wonderful supporter for us and has donated the tickets to raise more funds to enable us to have another screening next year.

“Each screening session costs between £3,000 and £5,000 because we have to pay for extra equipment to be brought up from London, two technicians from Leeds, a cardiologist from London and any other associated expense.

The raffle will be held on September 7 at Blackburn Rovers Blue’s Bar.