Client news: it’s a joy to help Heart Heroes with their PR, and so we hope this press release about the Big Heart Build bears fruit.

Calling all tradespeople in Gloucester! Children’s charity Heart Heroes needs your help.

The city-based charity, which supports children with congenital heart conditions and their families, has been given use of a building and is looking for tradespeople to help renovate it.

Heart Heroes has been handed keys to the caretaker’s bungalow at Willow Primary School, Tuffley. The building is owned by Gloucestershire County Council and SAND Academies Trust, which have offered the charity free use of the building for an initial period of ten years.

The three organisations are working in partnership to repurpose the building, which hasn’t been occupied for ten years, and needs completely gutting and refitting to make a space for all the charity’s families to meet, to host events, and to use as the headquarters.

So, Heart Heroes has launched the Big Heart Build and is hoping tradespeople – including electricians, plumbers, plasterers, glaziers, decorators, carpenters and landscapers – will offer to help out.

Kelly Cornish, who set up Heart Heroes in 2018 and who has been running it from her home, said she was overwhelmed by the generosity, which will make a huge difference to the lives of the families the charity supports.

“We’re thrilled to be working in partnership with SAND Academies Trust and the council to provide even more opportunities for children and their families living with heart conditions in Gloucestershire. This will provide a safe, warm space, where they can be supported and spend time with other families,” said Kelly.

“When a child is diagnosed with a heart condition – which can happen just hours or days after they are born – it is a huge shock to the parents and family. Heart Heroes supports these families, and the new space will enable us to do this even more effectively.”

Kelly is now looking for heroes to help with internal renovations, including knocking down walls to make it open-plan. It also has grounds, where Heart Heroes would like to create a forest school.

“There’s loads to do, and we don’t have the funds to manage it ourselves, which is why we’ve launched the Big Heart Build. We want to make it a real community project, so anyone who wants to help – maybe with a few hours to spare, or they want to make a donation, or they have some spare building materials – we’d love to hear from them. We’ve got a six month deadline to get this up and running.”

Heart Heroes operates regional hubs across the Midlands, the South, South West and Wales, as well as at Bristol Children’s Hospital, giving families of poorly children an opportunity to meet up, support one another, and access services. The Gloucester Hub will be located in the new building.

Its programmes like #ICan – which runs activities for heart children, which they might normally be excluded from – will also be based in the bungalow.

Martin Hughes, CEO and Trustee of SAND Academies Trust, said: “Both the SAND Academies Trust and Heart Heroes are organisations that have a remarkably similar ethos; we both put young people at the heart of everything we do.

“Therefore, it is only natural that the Academy Trust is more than delighted to work with and support the team at Heart Heroes, to provide a space for the them to help children living with heart conditions, providing physical, educational and emotional support. We look forward to a collaborative and long-standing relationship.”

Kelly added: “Willow Primary has also generously said we can have access to their grounds when they aren’t being used. We are all so excited and can’t wait to get started!”

If any tradespeople can help out with the Big Heart Build, please get in touch with Kelly. Email kelly@heartheroes.co.uk. For more information about Heart Heroes, visit https://heartheroes.co.uk/.