More than 20 years of helping people cope with heart conditions has been celebrated by the Mid Sussex Zipper Club.
The well known group has raised tens of thousands of pounds since its formation in 1988 and donated leading-edge, cardiac-related medical equipment to doctors, hospitals and the ambulance service in Mid Sussex.
Now, due to its reducing membership and its charitable aims having been exceeded, it has dissolved its Charitable Status although it will continue as a social club.
Members gathered this week at Newtons Practice in Heath Road, Haywards Heath, where the club began, to record for posterity its final donation of £1,735 to the health centre’s doctors, staff and patients.
The money has paid for a 24-hour blood pressure monitor, adult and child pulse Oximeters, an emergency resuscitation bag plus a portable induction hearing loop.
The Mid Sussex Zipper Club also used the occasion to issue “a very big thank you” to all those who over the years have donated “so very generously” to make the charity so successful in helping local people.
Practice manager Maura Preece also thanked the club and said Newtons Practice hoped its patients would be encouraged to use the new equipment that was now available to them.
The Mid Sussex Zipper Club began life as a self-help group to enable people with heart problems, possibly waiting for surgery or in the post-operative recovery stage, to get together for mutual support.
Dr Davies of Newton’s Surgery had considerable input into the club and provided links into the cardiac services. The club was then approached by the health authority about a post-operative cardiac rehabilitation course being considered for the Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath. The club gave its views on what could be beneficial to the course and agreed to fund-raise to help with set-up costs.
Thereafter, the club continued to fund-raise and donated cardiac-associated medical equipment to health centres and services. The more significant items have included defibrillators, both static and portable, ECG machines, blood pressure and heart monitors, a paramedic motorcycle, portable medical equipment to Sussex Ambulance service, donations and equipment to the Sussex Air Ambulance and equipment for the Princess Royal and Royal Sussex County hospitals.