Charity dinner funds state of the art cardiac software

Money raised at Wessex Heartbeat’s ‘biggest night of the year’ will give Southampton surgeons access to state of the art, 3D images of congenital heart problems.

Wessex Heartbeat, which is celebrating 25 years of supporting the Wessex Cardiac Centre at Southampton General Hospital, hosted 140 guests for a Gala Dinner at Romsey Abbey.

The event raised over £37,000, which will be used to purchase the new software and provide precise understanding of the complex anatomy of the heart, and allow hands-on simulation of surgical and interventional procedures, before they happen.

Wessex Heartbeat has raised almost £16m for the cardiac unit at Southampton General Hospital since 1992, funding projects including the

Young Adult Cardiac Centre and a £1 million refurbishment of the children’s ward.

In 2017 it will also set up a new Cardiac Day Case Unit and will further develop a Heartbeat Health Suite, as well as helping to educate

hundreds of the region’s children on how to be ‘heart healthy’ through the LifeLab programme.

Chief executive John Munro, said: “The Gala Dinner was compered by the wonderful Jo Kent of BBC South and was a fantastic opportunity for the

charity and its supporters to celebrate our achievements to date, and also look forward to our ambitious plans for the future.”

Entertainment on the night was provided from winners of the charity’s Wessex Factor competition: classical teen band The Five, as well as

Southampton choir Singsational and Eastleigh’s Parkewood School of Dance.

John Munro added: “Our warmest gratitude also goes to the Rev Canon Tim Sledge, Vicar of Romsey Abbey, who allowed us to hold the event at the

Abbey, Jo Kent for hosting and to our event sponsor, Eric Robinson Solicitors.”

Picture caption: Winners of Wessex Heartbeat’s ‘Wessex Factor’ talent competition, The Five, helped the charity raise £37,000 at its 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner at Romsey Abbey.

Media information, please contact Debbie Granville, Deep South Media, tel: 01202 534487 or email:

Wessex Heartbeat-funded projects to date have included the Young Adult Cardiac Centre, a £1 million refurbishment of the children’s ward, the building of a state-of-the-art education and conference centre and a paediatric intensive care ambulance and Babypod.

In 2016 the charity also celebrated 21 years of offering free, home-from-home accommodation at Heartbeat House for patients’ relatives.