Do you know a Heart Hero? For the first time the public are being invited to nominate people who deserve a Heart Hero Award from British Heart Foundation Scotland.
The charity’s Heart Hero Awards recognise the exceptional contribution of individuals and groups fighting for every heartbeat.
They include heart patients, fundraisers, campaigners, scientists and health professionals – people like Harry Prentice (21) from Braehead, near Forth, the organ donation campaigner who won the Young Heart Hero Award this year.
Having received a heart transplant himself two years ago, Harry supports BHF Scotland’s campaign to change to an opt-out system, where consent to donate organs is assumed unless the person has chosen to opt out.
Harry said: “I was really excited to have received the Young Heart Hero Award.
“It was an honour to have been recognised and to know the work I’m doing is making a real impact.
“Life for me prior to transplant was vibrant; I was well travelled, well educated and at no time did I give thought that life could be anything other than bright.
“At 16 I had serious health issues and thereafter I experienced the dedication, care and tolerance of nurses and doctors, and the parties such as BHF Scotland.
“My priorities and perception of the world changed. I’m still growing in strength and I intend to do more to promote the worthy causes, to educate and encourage others to give support to causes such as BHF Scotland and the wonderful work they do.”
There are five award categories: Inspiration Award; Young Hero Award; Innovation Award; Influencing Award and Fighting Spirit Award.
James Cant, Director of BHF Scotland explains: “Since I joined the charity in August I’ve been blown away by the passion, dedication and enthusiasm shown by every one of our supporters, be they fundraisers, researchers, campaigners or health professionals.
“Coronary heart disease is still Scotland’s biggest killer and I bet that practically every family has been affected one way or another, whether they’ve felt the sudden devastation of losing someone to a heart attack, or they’re caring for a child born with congenital heart disease.
“Look around and ask yourself who has impressed you with their drive? They might be someone who’s campaigning for better services for heart patients, a fundraiser or a heart patient who’s inspiring others.
“It’s really easy to nominate your friend, colleague or relative and they could be one of our Heart Heroes in 2016.”
Nominations should be made online at bhf.org.uk/heartheroes and the winners will be announced in June.