Helping to remove the stress of money worries.

If you have a heart condition, it is possible that, at some time in your life, you may encounter financial difficulties. This can happen due to being unable to work, or because of the cost of care and support.

Often adult CHD patients have particular obstacles to overcome. For example, struggling at school following time off for surgery and recuperation, or being discriminated against at work.  

If you are in need of financial help, The Somerville Foundation has a range of funds to relieve the financial burden adult CHD patients may find themselves under.

All of our funds are available to UK residents only.

At The Somerville Foundation, we support you through life’s practical challenges and help you to live as normally as possible.

Available Funds

Sue Shackman Hardship Fund

Support may be needed for a variety of reasons. For bills to be paid while in hospital, to see you over a period when you have financial difficulties as a direct result of being unwell, or to assist with the purchase of an essential item which has gone wrong such as a fridge.


Applicants must be CHD patients and provide proof in the form of a hospital letter or appointment card.

Proof of financial circumstances is also needed, such as benefits received (if relevant), bank statement, copy of bills, etc.

Request an application form or call 01473 252007 to apply.

Coaguchek Machine Fund

Do you have to visit the hospital to have your INR levels checked regularly?  Would being able to do this in the comfort of your own home be beneficial to you? If so, you may be able to apply for a grant to fund the purchase of your own machine.


An application can only be made on behalf of an adult CHD patient who is in financial need. Support and training will be given.

To apply, contact your ACHD/GUCH Cardiologist or Cardiac Nurse Specialist.

Beverley Downie Memorial Fund

The Beverley Downie Memorial Fund was established by her family in 2000, initially using money given in her memory when Beverley died. They were aware, from Beverley’s own experience, that adult CHD patients sometimes have problems when pursuing their education and they wanted to help in some way.  

The fund was set up to provide financial assistance for CHD patients attending college or undertaking training courses. It provides small grants to help with things such as course fees, the purchase of books, materials or equipment, and other related expenses such as travel costs.


The applicant must be a member of The Somerville Foundation and a CHD patient.

Request an application form or call 01473 252007 to apply.

Ra’s Opportunity Fund

Laura Alexander was a popular and much-loved adult CHD patient. When Laura died in 2007, her husband Russell, family and friends established a Memorial Fund.

Russell knew how important it was for adult CHD patients to meet and support each other at informal events, workshops and conferences. Ra’s Opportunity Fund provides funding to those in financial hardship to ensure that they can fully participate in events for patients. It helps to cover transport, accommodation and food costs as well as spending money (where appropriate). Funding may be given to attend our events or events held by similar support organisations.


Applicants must be a member of The Somerville Foundation and an adult CHD patient. The Fund may be used proactively when The Somerville Foundation, or staff from CHD Units, believe it would benefit patients to attend events.

Request an application form or call 01473 252007 to apply.

Call our free heart helpline for confidential heart to heart support.

0800 854 759

With your help, we’ve helped fund new and improved treatments for congenital heart disease. we opened the UK’s first dedicated Congenital Heart Research Centre. we’ve organised receptions at the House of Lords and House of Commons, a film première, concerts, parachute jumps, marathon runs, annual sponsored walks and masquerade balls. we ensure that adult CHD patients enjoy access to every opportunity, are free from discrimination, and are fully supported throughout their lives. we’ve staged annual conferences, regional patient information days and workshops throughout the UK. we’ve published a range of leaflets for CHD patients on a wide-range of topics. we’ve launched a Freephone patient helpline to provide practical advice, a listening ear, and emotional reassurance at times of stress. we’ve created online networks where congenital heart patients can connect with each other. we successfully applied for a Comic Relief grant to help develop mental health support services. we’ve contributed to adult congenital heart disease nurse training days and taken part in various study days and conferences for medical and health professionals. we’ve established a benevolent fund for members who are in financial hardship. we’ve organised residential weekends and outward bound holidays for teenagers and adults, providing congenital heart patients with the opportunity to meet and gain support from each other.

Just think what else we could do if you donate, fundraise or volunteer for us.


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