Lincolnshire FA, in partnership with the British Heart Foundation, has launched the '50 for 50' campaign - looking for 50 clubs to raise £50 to help reach a goal of £2,500 during the next football season.
Every penny counts and every pound will help fund lifesaving research to beat heartbreak forever. Since BHF was founded in 1961, the number of people who die from heart and circulatory diseases has halved. By funding research across six decades, we’ve helped keep millions of hearts beating and millions of families together.
The '50 for 50' challenge is an opportunity for clubs to embrace some fun and fundraising, get outdoors and help beat heartbreak forever.
Clubs can donate to the campaign via the JustGiving page here
This marks the second year of a two-year charity partnership between Lincolnshire FA and the BHF.
Heart and circulatory diseases affect over 7.6 million people across the UK, with 160,000 of those living in Lincolnshire alone. However, many of these conditions are often viewed as unseen or non-life threatening.
The campaign is being launched with the help of Reggie Aslin, a six-year-old boy born with a serious heart condition and a passion for football. Reggie and his family are also supporting BHF’s new campaign Spotlight On, which aims to shine a spotlight on the number of people living with hidden heart conditions in Lincolnshire and beyond.
Reggie’s mum Michelle, who works at Reggie’s school, said her son was diagnosed with a condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) when she was 20 weeks pregnant.
“It was really scary as we’d never heard of this condition or anything like it” said Michelle.
“We were devastated but we knew that having surgery as soon as possible after he was born was the thing that would give him the best chance in life”.
Reggie was born in September 2016 and just a few days later, when he was only four days old, he had his first surgery on his heart. This was followed by further surgery when he was six months old and again when he was four.
Unfortunately during the latest surgery, Reggie suffered a series of strokes which have impacted him physically and cognitively. This includes being left visually impaired. But Michelle said that ever since day one Reggie had been the “strongest kid I have ever known” and that his condition wasn’t holding him back.
“Although he has lots of limits now, there is still so much he can do including playing football with his friends,” she added. “I am so proud of him and we’re very happy to be supporting both these campaigns.
“What BHF did for us was out of this world – I get to tuck my little boy into bed at night because of the charity’s research. So I would urge people to support BHF in any way they can".
The '50 for 50' campaign will be kicked off with a special launch event at Lincoln Invictus' Comets programme on 6th September. This will be followed by further initiatives later in the year including walking football tournaments, a defib “health check” across the county and other fundraisers.
Nick Hanson, CEO of the Lincolnshire FA, said: “The Lincolnshire Football Association is delighted to be working in partnership with the British Heart Foundation to play a role in improving the heart health of our Lincolnshire community.
We recognise the essential role that regular exercise plays in maintaining a healthy heart and are excited to now be working with BHF to help the whole football community be better equipped to prevent, treat and manage heart conditions.”
Melanie Meik, Community Engagement and Fundraising Manger for Lincolnshire at BHF, added: “We are so excited to be working with Lincolnshire FA. Working together in this partnership will enable us to engage with the football community across Lincolnshire and share heart health information and CPR training with players and their families.
We’re also really grateful to Reggie and his family for helping us launch 50 for 50 and also for raising awareness of hidden heart conditions by supporting our Spotlight On campaign. Reggie is such a brave little boy and I am sure everyone who meets him will find him hugely inspirational.
Thank you Reggie, Michelle and all the Aslin family for helping us put a spotlight on hidden heart conditions”.