Wednesday, 22 May 2024
Wednesday, 22 May 2024

UK’s Heart Heroes honoured at star-studded awards ceremony

CELEBRITIES from the world of showbiz, TV and sport gathered at Glazier’s Hall, London Bridge to celebrate inspirational British Heart Foundation (BHF) supporters at the charity’s fifth annual Heart Heroes Awards.  

The red carpet was rolled out for awards presenters and guests including football legend David Ginola, British Olympic gymnasts Becky and Ellie Downie, Scott Allan, Yinka Bokinni, model Olivia Arben, TV presenter Will Njobvu, Roger Black MBE and winner of the 2022 Great British Bake Off – BHF-funded researcher, Dr Syabira Yusoff.   

Nineteen Heart Hero awards were given to those who have shown remarkable bravery or have gone above and beyond to help others while coping with the devastating impact of heart and circulatory disease. Winners included dedicated healthcare professionals, children battling life-threatening conditions and heart surgery survivors. The ceremony also celebrated those who have displayed awe-inspiring courage by administering CPR, along with those who have raised funds for the BHF’s lifesaving research. 

The glitzy event was led by Vernon Kay, who hosted the awards for the fourth time. The emotionally charged evening was extra poignant as it marked a return to a live awards ceremony for the first time in two years since the Covid-19 pandemic.   

Speaking about the evening, Vernon said:

“It was a privilege to be invited back to host the BHF’s Heart Hero Awards. Every year I’m blown away by the incredible stories of all the nominees and winners. It was so great to be back in person to recognise and say thank you to all the inspirational people who play an important part in helping the BHF fund their lifesaving research and make a difference in so many lives.”  

The night was a special evening for former Made in Chelsea star and fashion designer Ollie Proudlock, who was recently announced as the BHF’s latest Ambassador. In his first official role as a BHF Ambassador, Ollie presented the BHF Sustainability Partner Award to winners HSL. The company donate ex-display stock to the BHF and have raised nearly £2 million for the charity. 

Ollie said:

“I’m delighted to be able to support the BHF. Having lost my dad to a heart attack, I know first-hand the devastating impact heart and circulatory diseases can have on a family. I’m honoured to be among so many of the inspirational Heart Heroes tonight.”   

The ‘Outstanding Contribution’ award, which was announced by BHF ambassador Yinka Bokinni, was won by Máirtín Mac Gabhann, from Northern Ireland,  

Since his son Dáithí was born, Máirtín has devoted his life to raising awareness of organ donation. Dáithí was born with Hyperplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) which has left him in need of a heart transplant. Dáithí has been on the transplant waiting list for three and a half years.  

Unwilling to sit back, Máirtín and his partner, Seph Ní Mhealláin, decided to set up the Donate4Dáithí Campaign and support the BHF Northern Ireland in lobbying for ‘soft opt-out’ organ donation. In 2021 they succeeded, when Dáithí’s Law was passed – meaning adults in Northern Ireland will automatically be considered an organ donors after their death unless they record a decision stating otherwise. This incredible milestone wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless campaigning of Máirtín and his family. 

Yinka, who herself has a heart condition, said:

“It was an absolute honour to present Máirtín with the outstanding contribution award.   Máirtín has given so much to help others and make a change for good. He is a real-life hero in my eyes and epitomises what these awards are about.”   

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said:

“The Heart Hero Awards are such a special way to celebrate and give thanks to our BHF supporters who have shown courage, resilience, compassion and bravery in the face of heart and circulatory diseases.    

“A huge thank you and congratulations to all the nominees and winners, judges, and presenters, for making the Heart Hero Awards the unique and heart-warming event that it is.   

“It’s only thanks to you and all our fantastic supporters that we are able to fund lifesaving research that helps the 7.6 million people living with heart and circulatory conditions in the UK.”  

This year’s Heart Hero Awards are supported byLaerdal Medical, who are working with the BHF to help save lives.  

Nominations for CPR Hero and Young Heart Hero are open all year round. To find out how to nominate, please visit the website: www.bhf.org.uk/heartheroes.

For more information on the Heart Heroes Awards 2022, please email: heartheroes@bhf.org.uk.  

To support the BHF’s lifesaving research, please visit: www.bhf.org.uk.  

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