British Heart Foundation make urgent appeal for volunteers in Thurrock

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“We feel that volunteering together means we are fighting against heart disease as a family.”

THE British Heart Foundation (BHF) is calling on the public to lend an elfing hand this Christmas by giving the gift of time to its stores in the East of England

The festive season can be one of the busiest times of year for the heart research charity, so it’s urgently appealing to the local community to take some time out of their busy lives and help them raise much needed funds.

Mother and son double act, Matthew and Patricia, volunteer together at their local shop in Felixstowe. Patricia tragically lost her husband to heart disease and decided to get involved to improve research so other families don’t have to go through what they did.

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PATRICIA has been volunteering at the BHF’s Felixstowe shop since her son Matthew started nursery. 17 years later and her son has now been volunteering alongside her for the past five years, seeking to make a positive difference and gain work experience.

After losing her husband to a heart attack when Matthew was just eight years old, the family want to help raise funds for research into genetic links to help reduce the spread through the generations. Patricia has also been affected by heart disease herself, having had life saving heart surgery as an 11 year old child.

They both love how volunteering has helped them get to know other locals working there, as well as interacting with the customers each day. The past five years have been instrumental in providing Matthew with work experience and have allowed him to develop his confidence, whilst Patricia saw it as a great social outlet when Matthew started nursery. The team are now like family to them both, having been a great support when her husband suddenly passed away.

When asked what it’s like working alongside her son, Patricia says “we feel that volunteering together means we are fighting against heart disease as a family.”

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