Preston North End Community and Education Trust’s upcoming NCS [National Citizen Service] matchday will be raising money for local charity Heartbeat.
Based at Deepdale, at the corner of the Bill Shankly Kop and the Sir Tom Finney Stand, Heartbeat is a charity which offers a range of services to help people with cardiovascular disease or at risk of cardiovascular disease.
But without receiving funding from the NHS or local councils, the Lancashire-based charity is reliant on charitable donations.
PNECET’s NCS students have completed social action projects on behalf of the charity previously, including last summer, when a group of young people completed a virtual bike ride equivalent of the distance from Deepdale to Wembley, raising over £500.
CEO of the charity Louise Bache explained the importance of those actions and the value that monetary donations can provide for their services.
“Heartbeat is a charity and we’ve been going for 42 years this year and we help people who are either at risk of cardiovascular disease or have cardiovascular disease," she said.
“We’ve worked with NCS for quite a while. Currently, they’ve raised over £1000 for Heartbeat and that money goes towards helping people around the north west, particularly in Preston, which is our main site, where we have over 970 people accessing our services.
“They’ll be coming and exercising with us twice a week, building up their confidence, getting fitter, getting healthier and £1,000 is going to actually go a really long way to keeping our programme running.”
Dharm Mali, who has become a service user of Heartbeat after having a heart operation, explained how he has benefitted from his rehabilitation with the charity.
“After I had my heart operation, it was Heartbeat that actually got in touch with me to actually tell me what sort of services are actually available. Until then, I didn’t even know that anything like this even existed within the community.
“I think without the support of Heartbeat and all the education that they have actually provided, I would’ve been stuck on the internet looking for things and probably worrying about things I didn’t need to.
“It’s an invaluable source and they’ve actually pulled up years of experience of other people that have actually come here so yeah the supports been fantastic.”
Louise added: “We don’t get funding from anywhere else, so we don’t get big funding from the NHS or the council.
“Every single penny that is raised by somebody else for Heartbeat goes to Heartbeat and goes to the people who need those services, it’s all about whoever is accessing our services so every single penny that is raised today will help save somebody’s life.”
We will have bucket collections for Heartbeat taking place on the stadium concourses for Saturday's game, thanks to our NCS graduates and Heartbeat volunteers.
Find out more about the NCS programme by clicking here.