A leading North East heart charity has marked International Women’s Day on 8 March by joining forces with the Women’s Institute.
The Red Sky Foundation has announced a partnership with South Shields WI branch, Sisters of Shields.
And their joint aim is to launch a multi-faceted heart health campaign – raising awareness of the early warning signs of heart disease and raising funds to better equip with the town with life-saving defibrillators.
Around 35,000 women are admitted to hospital following a heart attack in the UK each year – an average of 98 women a day, or four per hour.
Research also shows women delay seeking help when they experience heart attack symptoms.
Red Sky Foundation wants to put an end to the perception that heart attack is a male disease and hopes by partnering with Sisters of Shields, they will be able to encourage women to better understand their risk of a heart attack and its symptoms.
“Heart attacks are more treatable now than ever before,” said founder Sergio Petrucci.
“However, many women are dying needlessly because heart attacks are often seen as more of a man’s disease, and women often overlook the symptoms.
“Working in partnership with the Sisters of Shields WI means we can start to tackle this problem together on a local level.”
South Shields currently only has four community public access defibrillators and, to get the ball rolling, Sisters of Shields plans to purchase a fifth machine, which will be sited at Newcastle Building Society South Shields branch.
Jayne Rudd, President of Sisters of Shields WI, said the organisation was “delighted to work in partnership with Red Sky Foundation because the work the charity does is amazing.
“By using our funds with the support of our members to sponsor a defibrillator, Sisters of Shields WI are providing the town with a much-needed piece of kit that could potentially save lives while also supporting a great charity.”
She also sent out her thanks to fellow WI member, Janette Curry, who had the idea to join forces with the Red Sky Foundation.
Stuart Miller, customer director at Newcastle Building Society, said: “Working with the Red Sky Foundation is another example of our commitment to communities and a fantastic way to make the most of our branch network for the benefit of wider high street.
“It’s great to see another innovative way that we can help make a positive difference in the community and we’re happy to provide our support to this great cause.”
When Covid restrictions permit, The Red Sky Foundation and the Sisters of Shields will then embark on a series of familiarisation sessions with the North East Ambulance Service for the South Shields community with support from the Newcastle Building Society.
In addition to funding defibrillators across the North East, Red Sky Foundation has raised tens of thousands of pounds to buy vital equipment for the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital, including a unique organ care transplant system and funded a specialist Fontan nurse post in the region, the first of its kind in the UK.
For more information, visit www.redskyfoundation.com