When my daughter was born 23 years ago we weren’t aware of any support groups and felt really isolated, always wondering ‘why us’? We had no one to talk to. That all changed 10 years ago when we were visited in hospital by an ECHO ward volunteer and we joined up straight away to give our daughter support and to let her know she wasn’t the only child with a heart condition.
Early on, I remember going along to the Christmas party and realising they could probably do with a few extra hands, but didn’t want to tread on any toes. I went along to their monthly meetings at Ronald MacDonald House and found out more about volunteering, which I’ve been doing for at least 6 years now. They couldn’t have been happier that I wanted to help, and now the whole family gets involved.
We go along to as many events as possible and love being part of the ECHO family, helping other heart families realise they can live as normal a life as possible with the right support.
As a volunteer, ECHO have been brilliant, providing all the relevant training and backup. I help out at events throughout the year and also help Emma, the Community Manager, with different projects to support the charity. I also do what I can to tell people about ECHO and the work they do.