Take Heart was set up thirty one years ago by a group of former patients of the Yorkshire Heart Centre who had undergone surgical procedures and who felt that they must repay the first class treatment they had received. Their aims and objectives then were the same as now - to raise money to use to make life for patients, staff and relatives of the Heart Centre more comfortable and to try to alleviate some of the anxieties which weigh heavily on patients and their relatives at what can be a critical time. Basically, Take Heart makes a difference.We have no paid employees and the trustees of the charity give their time completely voluntarily. They meet regularly to plan fund raising and agree expenditure for small and not-so-small projects. The former chairman of Take Heart has been with the charity since its inception, is Colin Pullan and he has been honoured by the Queen, receiving the MBE for the work he has done in LGI.Take Heart have so far raised over four million pounds and here are some of the differences we have made.A major project has been the provision of the superb Take Heart Roof Garden. This is adjacent to the Heart Wards and provides a peaceful area with lovely views of the city for patients, their relatives and staff.The roof garden has been recently updated with weatherproof flooring and glass screens and was re-opened by Maggie Boyle, the then, CEO of Leeds Hospitals NHS Trust in May 2012.The Zen GardenOn a slightly smaller scale, Take Heart funded the provision of the Zen Garden, based on a terraced garden as used by Buddhist monks around their temples. This gives a much better outlook for patients in what was a drab, concrete courtyard.FREE BEDSIDE TV, PHONE CALLS AND INTERNETIn an attempt to take away another worry from heart patients and relatives, Take Heart have a contract with the company which supplies the bedside television sets. We pay for patient’s use of the TV which covers more than 80 channels plus radio and we also cover the cost of all outgoingtelephone calls to UK landlines from the bedside. In addition to this, we also pay for the internet service built in to the new sets. The pictures above show our chairman at the contract signing with Hospedia and the new style sets which have been installed throughout the hospital.RELATIVES’ SUITESTake Heart provide Suites which are available, free of charge to relatives of heart ward patients, who normally live outside Leeds. This enables them to be nearer to their loved ones at a stressful time. The rooms are lovely and have en-suite and kitchen facilities. All overlook Millennium Square.SUPPLY OF EQUIPMENTWhen it is in the interests of patient comfort, Take Heart periodically fund additional equipment to the Heart Centre. The photograph above shows the presentation from us of three state-of-the-art machines for the Catheter Labs. For full story, please click here >>NEW SUITE FOR HEART PATIENTSSenior Sister Alison Romaniw with some of her staff in the new angio suiteDay patients visiting cardiology at the LGI for angiograms and other relatively straightforward procedures now have a more comfortable environment to relax in during their visit, Thanks to Take Heart.A new Angio Suite has been opened close to ward 11 to cater for patients who attend the catheter labs but can be seen without the need to stay overnight. This applies to about a fifth of the patients visiting the interventional unit, including those needing Pacemaker box changes, reveal implants or explants and radial angiograms.What was previously a two-bedded room has been transformed into a dedicated waiting area for these patients, with five comfortable recliner chairs and an in-room TV to help pass the time. The room also has its own small private consulting room attached, to allow tests or discussions to be undertaken confidentially. As well as making the wait more comfortable for the day patients, having a dedicated area means that they no longer need to use the ward beds in the department. Patients coming in to undergoing more invasive procedures therefore have less time to wait for a bed to become available.MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE WARDSThroughout the Heart Centre, you will see new ward furniture, new waiting areas with comfortable furniture, new beds and bedside lockers, beautifully designed reception areas and even superb fish tanks. All supplied and fitted by Take Heart with money donated by you - for which we give our grateful thanks. (Run the cursor over the pictures)These are just a few of the many projects funded by Take Heart. Our work is never ending and the trustees will continue to ensure that all money raised will be used to fund suitable projects which meet patient’s needs.