Charity Leaders Hail Brentford’s Heart Of West London Campaign
One year on, Heart of West London charity partners reflect on 12 months of campaigning.
In Brentford, a journey started a year ago, bringing together a community, a football club, and charities with a shared mission to improve cardiac health and save lives. Today, we celebrate the accomplishments and impact of the Heart of West London campaign, as shared by those deeply involved.
Suzanne Rowan, has been a leading figure in the campaign, with her leadership of the A K A Day charity, which was launched in memory of her late husband, Robert Rowan. A K A Day promotes health and well-being by challenging people to move more in May with all the money raised funding cardiac screening sessions. “Being part of Heart of West London has opened up a wonderfully supportive community for A K A Day. Being a small group of friends, setting up A K A Day has been hugely rewarding to raise money for CRY in memory of Robert Rowan and the Heart of West London partnership has helped take this to another level.
“This year over 250 supporters moved 1k, 2k or 5k every day in May allowing us to help more people to benefit from daily exercise and, in turn, raise money and awareness for more cardiac screenings to save lives. Over the past year, with the strength of Brentford FC and fans behind us, alongside Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young, Resuscitation Council UK and Pablo London, we have been able to reach a whole new audience and help elevate cardiac health as a priority for all.
“We are really excited for what the future holds with our Heart of West London family and are very thankful to be part of this initiative that is saving lives.”
Dr. Steven Cox, chief executive of Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), expressed deep gratitude for the longstanding support from Brentford FC and the profound impact of the Heart of West London partnership. He emphasized, “We feel privileged to have been supported by Brentford FC for many years, and the Heart of West London partnership is an incredible, collaborative initiative which will help to save many young lives.”
“CRY has been campaigning for a National Strategy to Prevent Young Sudden Cardiac Deaths, and this partnership brings together the crucial components on how this can be progressed and ultimately, implemented. More training in early CPR, more access to defibrillators in public places, more cardiac screening, more research, and crucially more awareness.”
This collaborative effort extends beyond the immediate impact, as Dr. Cox noted, “Through shining a light on these key issues, Brentford FC is not only helping to save lives now but also helping to build foundations which will have an impact for many years to come.” He praised Brentford FC’s commitment to their community and their dedication to fostering a better society. “At CRY, we want every young person to have the opportunity to have their heart tested. Brentford FC and the Heart of West London partnership are helping to move to a time when that aspiration will become a reality.”
Richard Bowyer, chief executive of Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity, expressed the immense value of their role in the Heart of West London partnership. He emphasised, “Our charity hugely values the opportunity to be part of the Heart of West London partnership, working closely with Brentford FC and a range of fantastic charities to change the game for people at risk of heart disease.
“Thanks to the wonderful Brentford fans, who have taken part in runs, bought T-shirts or made donations, we are well on our way to raise the funding we need to support Dr Sabiha Gati’s groundbreaking research into sudden cardiac death in athletes and young people.
He highlighted the crucial role of early detection, stating, “The more we learn about what causes heart disease, the earlier treatment begins – and ultimately the more lives that are saved. Thank you to everyone who has helped Heart of West London so far, you make all the difference.”
Dr. James Cant, chief executive of Resuscitation Council UK, underscored the significance of collaboration in achieving their shared objective of saving lives. He conveyed, “We are honoured to be a part of the Heart of West London partnership and to work with such fantastic organisations towards a shared goal of saving lives.”
“Collaboration is key to raising awareness of cardiac arrest and heart disease and ensuring that everyone has the skills they need to save a life – which is why this partnership is so important to us.”
Dr. Cant also highlighted the campaign’s role in reaching new audiences with a life-saving message, stating, “Over the past year, we have seen significant engagement with the partnership on match days, across our social channels, and with grassroots teams; helping us to reach new audiences with our life-saving message that early CPR and defibrillation can more than double survival rates for cardiac arrest.”
Emily Donovan, Health and Wellbeing Manager at Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, highlighted the collaborative synergy that has driven the campaign’s success. She remarked, “Since the launch of the Heart of West London partnership last October, the club and Trust have worked closely alongside Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young, Resuscitation Council UK, Pablo London, and A-K-A Day to promote cardiac health throughout the local area.
“In February, 169 young people received a free heart screening at our Community Stadium Hub, which is testament to the importance of the partnership as we hope to prevent young sudden cardiac deaths through awareness, screening, and research.”
As the campaign marks its one-year anniversary, Emily Donovan expressed the collective commitment to continue the positive work and enduring impact of the Heart of West London partnership. “We look forward to continuing the positive work and impact of the Heart of West London partnership over the next 12 months and beyond.”
In just one year, the Heart of West London campaign has demonstrated the impact of coming together with compassion and a shared goal of saving lives. Through fundraising, promotion, conducting research, and providing training, it has not only saved lives but also laid the foundation for long-term change.
Looking ahead, the Heart of West London campaign stands as a testament to what can be accomplished when like-minded people and organisations join forces for a common cause. It’s a tribute to Robert Rowan’s memory and a reminder that every saved life, every heart screened, and every person trained in CPR brings us closer to a healthier future.
The Heart of West London initiative, driven by collaboration and inspired by the memory of Robert Rowan reinforces that, together, we have the power to make a meaningful impact, one heartbeat at a time.