ACHD Support & Services

Become a Friend, Supporter or Patron of The Somerville Foundation and help us with our vision to create a society where those born with a heart condition receive the support and medical care they need to lead longer, happier and healthier lives.

When you join The Somerville Foundation, you will receive the same level of support across all tiers, Friend, Supporter and Patron.

It’s completely free to be a ‘Friend’. For those keen and able to support our work we have ‘Supporter’ and ‘Patron’ tiers. These will help build an annual income that makes our future more stable and means we can provide more support where needed.  Sign-Up here.

Advocacy and Peer Support

Private social media groups specifically for the CHD communitya great way to meet others with CHD and a place for confidential discussion and support and meeting others in similar situations who “just get it”. Proven to be one of the best ways of reducing isolation, improving mental health and helping to establish coping mechanisms.

Access to Wellbeing Counsellor

Whether living with a CHD for a long time or just being diagnosed, we understand day to day living with CHD can be very distressing. Our Mental Health and Wellbeing Counsellor can offer some support.
Our Counsellor was born with a heart condition too and so understands some of the difficulties and anxieties around living with a heart condition.

Coaguchek Machine Facilitation

Once your healthcare team have agreed you are a suitable candidate for self-testing and you are able to obtain prescriptions for the strips, we are able to supply you with a Coaguchek machine. These can either be purchased outright at a specially discounted rate or you can pay in instalments (initial deposit, followed by 10 monthly instalments of around £20 per month or, if eligible, you can apply for a grant for full-funding of a machine. To find out more, email: finance@thesf.org.uk

GUCH News

We publish our newsletter quarterly. It is packed full of articles and information about CHD, some written by those living with a heart condition who have had the courage to share their stories. The online version is emailed to our subscribers free of charge each quarter. If you would like to share your experiences, we’d love to hear from you!

Employment Law Specialist

Our lawyer can provide free initial advice and is available to support our CHD patients with concerns regarding work Get in touch with the office: admin@thesf.org.uk and we’ll put you in touch.

Life and Travel Insurance Brokers

One of our nurse specialists worked with this travel insurance company to better understand the needs of a CHD patient and the impact a CHD can have when travelling. To get a quote from a company that understands more about CHD and not just about NOT covering you when on holiday get a quote via this link.

Financial Support

Though we are unable to provide ongoing financial support we do have a Support Fund that can help CHD patients who are going through a particularly difficult time. These are one-off grants for those in financial difficulty that meet the eligibility criteria. We can provide funds for items/expenses that can make a real difference. Email: finance@thesf.org.uk for an application form. You will be asked to provide evidence of ACHD and being in financial difficulty.

Information and Guidance

Our dedicated community area has lots of help and guidance for living with CHD, including information and leaflets on specific conditions, blogs and a resource section with lots of downloadable articles such as ‘Me, My heart and anxiety’, ‘Coping and living well’, ‘preparing for and coping with surgery’ and ‘Dealing with deterioration in health’.

Events

Invitations to webinars and online events as well as our ‘physical’ ones:

Online/Virtual:

Our private social media groups offer Zoom sessions too, there have been crafting, ‘coffee and chat’, quizzes and wellbeing zoom sessions too. We are starting to run webinars to inform patients and allay their concerns during this difficult period. We are running webinars on lots of different subjects and topics that you have told us you want to know more about.
Take part in our challenges; our February Footsteps is an annual patient group challenge to encourage CHD patients to get out in the fresh air and walk, which is also good for mental health too whilst raising funds to support our work.

Physical:

Our annual patient conference (when gatherings of around 100 people are allowed again), area/disease specific seminars, meet ups and social gatherings. These are a great way of finding out more about what is happening in the world of congenital cardiology, hear other patients stories, discuss with your peers the issues faced by fellow CHDers. There are ACHD specialist talks, Somerville Foundation up-dates, taster sessions to try and plenty of like-minded ACHD compatriots to meet and chat with. Sadly our annual patient conference costs in excess of £12,000 with many who book not turning up, so we need to ask for a small contribution towards the costs of these in future.

Research

We are often asked by healthcare Professionals in the field of congenital Cardiology to signpost people to their research. They are seeking for willing participants to shape the future of CHD care. You can make a difference by taking part in their research; or our own; to improve services for CHD patients now and in the future.