Volunteer group's Covid-closure after raising £70,000 in 30 years

The launch of Heartbeat Ely's logo

The launch of Heartbeat Ely's logo: Patricia Canham, her sister Yvonne Dockerill and Patricia's daughter, Kelly Canham - Credit: CECILIA MCATEER

A volunteer-run Ely group that has raised £70,000 for Addenbrooke's and Papworth hospitals in the last 30 years is closing down due to the impact of Covid-19.

Heartbeat was founded in 1991 by Ely couple Patricia Canham and her husband Eddie after his heart attack, in recognition of all the help and care he received.

Eddie died in 2009, but, inspired by his treatment (and those of others), and his support for Papworth, Patricia and the Heartbeat supporters vowed to carry on.  

Three decades later, however, and with "much sadness", Heartbeat is coming to an end due to the pandemic preventing fundraising activities, with Patricia, her daughter Kelly, and Patricia’s sister, Yvonne Dockerill, deciding to call it a day.  

Cecilia McAteer, of Heartbeat Ely, said: "Following Eddie’s operation in 2006, and superb treatment at Papworth, they decided to concentrate on raising funds for Papworth’s Patients’ Comfort Fund.  

"They started to raise funds under the appropriate name of 'Heartbeat'. Craft fairs, market stalls, jam making, fashion shows, quizzes and sales of record-breaking amounts of scones, cakes and mince pies helped purchase vital equipment for patients. 

Goods purchased, in liaison with Papworth Patients' Comfort Fund, include, heart monitors, thermometers, clocks and donations to set up a families' sitting room.

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Cecilia added: "Patricia, Kelly and Yvonne would like to thank everyone who has supported them throughout the years. 

"Eddie would have been truly humbled at the generosity shown towards Heartbeat and the amazing Royal Papworth Hospital. Thank you, and we wish you all well."