CARDIAC Risk in the Young (CRY) is the chosen charity of Needham Market FC for the Suffolk Champions Charity Cup.
Needham Market, winners of the 2019-20 Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup, face CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup winners Lakenheath in the Suffolk Champions Charity Cup match at Bury Town FC on Wednesday, July 14th, kick-off 7.30pm.
Anyone purchasing a ticket online for the match will be supporting the charity of their choice.
To purchase a ticket for the match click here
Cara MacMillan, who is Community Fundraising Manager and has worked for the charity for the past nine-and-a-half years, explains the charity’s work.
First of all tell us about the work undertaken by your charity?
The charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) was first launched in May 1995, with the vision of preventing young sudden cardiac deaths through awareness, screening and research, and supporting affected families.
Since CRY’s inception, the organisation has grown from strength to strength - becoming an influential and reputable body that now advises on national policy and is recognised as leading the way in the prevention of young sudden cardiac death (YSCD) both in the UK and internationally. CRY’s world-renowned research programme has, so far, led to the publication of 300 peer reviewed articles.
Every week in the UK, around 12, ‘apparently’ fit and healthy young people (under the age of 35) die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. 80% of these deaths will occur with no prior symptoms – which is why CRY believes screening is so vitally important. Although it won’t identify all young people at risk, in Italy, where screening is mandatory for all young people engaged in organised sport, they have reduced the incidence of young sudden cardiac death by 90%.
Indeed, CRY now tests over 32,000 young people every year (aged 14-35), through its pioneering (and hugely subsidised) screening programme, which is overseen by world leading cardiologist, Professor Sanjay Sharma. To date, CRY has screened more than 220,000 young people.
Where is your charity based?
Our office is based in Leatherhead, Surrey, but we cover the whole of the UK and Northern Ireland.
How many people work for your charity – full-time staff, if any, and also the number of volunteers?
We have 40 members of full and part-time staff, plus over 100 screening technicians around the country who work at our screening events in different communities.
CRY has 74 local representatives and 28 bereavement supporters, as well as over 200 events volunteers.
How long has the charity been in existence?
Do you know how many people you have supported in that time?
CRY has a long heritage of providing ‘bespoke’ support for families who have tragically been affected by young sudden cardiac death. Over 3,000 families have reached out to CRY, in need of expert guidance through the process of understanding the cause of death of their child, sibling or partner. There will also be many families who have been supported by CRY indirectly, by accessing the vast amount of information we provide free of charge on our CRY website, with no expectation of them making themselves known to CRY.
A network of bereavement supporters (who will also all have been affected by young sudden cardiac death) are also available to support families through their grief. They all will have completed two years of accredited training so they can support others after their tragedy.
However, the good news is that due to the success of CRY’s campaigning over the past two decades – in terms of awareness, research, screening and support – there are now more cases than ever of young people being identified with ‘hidden’ and potentially fatal heart conditions. One in every 300 of the young people that CRY tests, will be identified with a potentially life-threatening condition. And, through greater awareness (among both the public and healthcare professionals) CRY believes that people are becoming more conscious of their own family’s ‘heart history’, past cases of premature and unexplained death and demanding prompt screening for immediate family members should the very worse happen and a young person dies suddenly, seemingly without explanation.
As such, CRY’s myheart network was formed to support and bring together those young people who are coping with a diagnosis of a heart condition and determined to live a normal and active life! In total, there are now 618 members of the myheart network.
CRY’s aims have not changed in 26 years, and we will continue to raise awareness until all the public and medical practitioners know the symptoms to look out for and where young people can get tested. We will continue funding support for bereaved families and young people identified with cardiac conditions, funding screening to allow young people to have their hearts tested and funding research to improve policy and practice.
Can you say how many people you help each year?
As I have mentioned previously, over 3,000 families have reached out to CRY, in need of expert guidance through the process of understanding the cause of death of their child or partner. There will also be many families who have been supported by CRY indirectly, by accessing the vast amount of information we provide free of charge on our CRY website, with no expectation of them making themselves known to CRY.
We normally receive more than 150 bereavement calls per year, in addition there are hundreds of referrals to the CRY Centre for Cardiac pathology every year, providing expert fast-track investigation to help families understand the cause of death and identify other family members who may be at risk. Prior to the pandemic CRY’s screening programme was testing the hearts of more than 30,000 young people per year.
Have you linked with Needham Market FC in the past?
No, we haven’t.
How will being the club’s chosen charity help you?
CRY depends very largely upon the goodwill of our fundraisers and the generosity of people like yourselves in order to carry out our ambitious programme, and we are very grateful for any support you feel able to give.
Your support will help raise funds to support a range of projects including:
- developing the CRY Bereavement Support service providing counselling and support to affected families
- developing the CRY Centre for Cardiac Pathology at St Georges Hospital
- subsidising and expanding CRY's national screening programme
- supporting medical research into young sudden cardiac death
- developing the CRY myheart Network - providing peer support, counselling and meetings for young peoplewith cardiac conditions
- Our ongoing campaigning and public affairs activity to raise awareness of the need for a National Strategy for the Prevention of YSCD and ensuring that every young person aged between 14 and 35 in the UK has access to specialist cardiac screening.
By being chosen by Needham Market FC as their charity to benefit from funds and awareness raised from taking part in the Suffolk Champions Charity Cup, this will ultimately help us to save young lives.
If anyone wishes to find out more about your charity where can they do so?
For more information about any of CRY’s services, please click here or to find out about a free screening in your area, click here
Finally, if anyone wishes to help support your charity who should they contact and how?
They can contact Cara MacMillan, CRY’s Community Fundraising Manager, by either emailing email@example.com or by calling the CRY office on 01737 363 222.