A group formed to support people with heart conditions in a friendly and positive way outside of hospital is appealing for new members.
The Heart2Heart support group was launched in September 2014 and is supported by Kettering General Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Department.
It is mostly made up of former Kettering General Hospital patients and their relatives – although anyone who has had a heart problem can join.
It provides additional support for heart patients through the sometimes frightening period of adjusting to their problem.
Cardiac rehabilitation sister Anne Dyer said: “The group is a way for anyone with a heart condition – and their families and friends – to get together to support one another.
“Before the group was formed people had their hospital treatment and rehabilitation and advice and then just went home.
“For some people this left them feeling quite anxious and vulnerable and unsure of who to contact for further support. The Heart for Heart group has helped us to fill that gap.”
Group chairman, David Riddle, said: “It is a place where people can meet and share their experiences and help each other to develop a positive outlook that enhances their recovery and their quality of life.
“It is especially useful for people who perhaps feel a little isolated and unsure of what they should and shouldn’t be doing.
“Our monthly meetings can be both social and educational. We have had speakers and advice from Kettering General Hospital’s cardiologists, pharmacists and exercise physiologists from the cardiac rehabilitation team.
“And we also have a social side with regular walks together at places like Stanwick Lakes and outings to places like Blenheim Palace and Bentley Priory RAF Museum.
“We are actively looking for new members because we feel there are still people out there with cardiac conditions who would benefit from the support we can provide.
“Anyone who wants to come along and get involved will be made very welcome.”
Julie Staires, from Kettering, has been a member of the group for the last four years after having a heart procedure in Leicester.
She said: “I found out about the group almost by accident when I was visiting a friend at KGH.
“Being a member is fantastic. You are able to raise any health concerns with cardiac rehabilitation sister Anne Dyer who supports the group and get some advice.
“In addition you can talk with other people who have had similar experiences to yourself and enjoy social activities with them.”
The group meets on the first Tuesday of the month at Kettering General Hospital’s Social Club (next to car park B on the main hospital site) at 8pm.
To join the group contact David Riddle on 01536 791120 or Anne Dyer on 01536 491102.