Head shave: Amy Crowley raised £1,228

When Amy Crowley’s 11 day old daughter Seraphina was diagnosed with enteroviral myocarditis her heart became dangerously swollen, causing ventricular tachycardia.

Spending days in PICU, Amy was incredibly well supported by all the staff and was particularly grateful to be able to stay at Eckersley House.

So much so she decided to do her own fundraising – by shaving off all her lovely long hair.

Amy Crowley

Amy's tips...

Be realistic

Being a working mum with two children I knew I didn’t have much time to organise something or train for a sporting event.

I’d also been thinking about cutting my hair short for a while – so a head shave seemed the perfect solution!

Rope in your friends

I managed to persuade a close friend to join me in shaving off our hair.

Not only was this great morale support but it also opened the door to whole new set of people who wanted to support her by donating.

Tell everyone

My advice would be to tell as many people as possible which can be really easy to do with social media.

I’d also advise contacting your local press and asking them to run a story.

If I fundraised again I would do even more of this.

2 hour clubbercise class: Stacie Burton raised £1,048

Stacie’s daughter Ellie-Mae had open heart surgery in 2011 and continues to be under the care of the Leeds Heart Unit.

Stacie wanted to give something back for the many years of great treatment Ellie-Mae has received and so organised a ‘Clubbercise’ event.

Stacie Burton

Stacie's tips...

Play to your strengths

I’m a Clubbercise instructor so it made sense to put this to good use.

It also meant I already knew people who would be interested in attending and supporting my event.

Think of the extras

The main income came from ticket sales but I also charged for neon face painting, refreshments and I held a raffle.

This added a nice amount to my total but also made the event more enjoyable for everyone.

Help people understand where donations go

Having first hand experience of CHSF really helps.

I can give people lots of examples of where their money will go and I think this really encourages people to donate.

Family fun day: Emma Brook and Vicki Hargrave raised £2,500

Both Emma and Vicky are mums of patients of the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit, so they decided to team up and work together to put on an amazing event in Batley.

Emma Brook and Vicki Hargrave

Emma & Vicki's tips...

Mix it up

We think our event was a success as we had lots of different things going on that people could enjoy.

We had the usual things like raffles, tombolas and cake stands but we also invited small local businesses to join us like Face Painters, make-up sellers and refreshment stalls.

This made the day more fun for everyone but it also made it more profitable as each business donated a percentage from their sales.

Do research

Our advice would be to think about what your local community would enjoy and go from there. Also think about the day and location.

We did our Family Fun Day at a park on a Sunday meaning we got lots of passing trade from people who were enjoying a walk in the park.

If you don't ask, you don't get

We had so many things donated it was quite unbelievable.

I spoke to our local council and they let me hold our event in the park.

Also think about who you know and what they could contribute, for example one of our friends is a DJ and so he was happy to be on the mike, playing music all day!

Help from friends

We definitely couldn’t have done the day without lots of volunteers.

Make a list of what you will need help with and allocate tasks to specific people.

Giving up Coca-Cola: Adam Boniface raised £2,549

Coca-Cola addict Adam strongly believes his blood type is Cola+.

Having tried and failed to curb his bad habit many times he was given real motivation to give up for a whole year when his good friend’s sadly lost their little girl to CHD.

Adam Boniface

Adam's tips...

Set targets

Mine is £5,000 which is optimistic but has given me the drive to keep going for a full year.

I think by people knowing the specific figure of how much I want to raise it has encouraged them to donate to help me to achieve that target.

It also probably helps that I’ve promised to get a Coco-Cola tattoo somewhere upon my person if I reach the £5k!

Dare to be different

I picked this type of fundraising because it was something different. My challenge has become a real talking point – often with people debating which tattoo I should get (and where!).

In May, in an attempt to raise more funds, I completed a month of challenges set to me by friends on social media, culminating in me learning and performing the ‘Single Ladies’ dance video by Beyoncé!

It’s all good fun and ultimately means more money and awareness.

Be your own champ

I’ve utilised every opportunity to tell people about my fundraising and why I’m doing it and it’s really paid off.

From Twitter and Facebook updates, to announcements at events, to simply talking to people, I’ve been really impressed by the support I’ve received.

Coffee morning: Laura Mitchell raised £433

Laura’s 3 year old son Maxwell has been under the care of the Leeds Congenital heart Unit since he was diagnosed with CHD at 8 weeks old.

Feeling fortunate to have benefitted from “such amazing care and support from the team at Leeds” she decided to organise a coffee morning.

Laura Mitchell

Laura's tips...


I picked the date for the coffee morning as it was just before Maxwell’s 6 week post-op check so it was still very fresh in everyone’s mind.

It was great for friends and family and the local community to get together and catch up.

Of course Maxwell loved showing everyone his scar, or as he affectionately still refers to it as his spider! (The sutures that were used to hold the drain in place were black so before they were due to be removed looked like a little spider on his tummy!)

You don't have to reinvent the wheel!

I took inspiration from other well-publicised fundraising events.

Your event or challenge doesn’t have to be expensive or involve a lot of hard work.

Prior to this event I did a sponsored de-choc – difficult in terms of will power but easy enough to plan at short notice and didn’t require any outlay in terms of cost/venue hire etc.

Ask for help

Children’s Heart Surgery Fund’s Community Fundraiser has been a massive support with helping me set up the JustGiving page, fundraising templates, sponsor forms you name it, if you ask, they will try to get something sorted for you!

Also ask for support from your local supermarkets for things such as tea and coffee. They all have community support teams specifically for this purpose – the more people you can get on board the better.

Plan ahead

I had a poster made advertising my event and really pushed it on my Facebook page. This ensured I had plenty of people attending.