Brave Imogen, four, leads YEP-backed call to Sing for Your Heart in Leeds this winter

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An inspirational Leeds four year old is leading the call for YEP readers to sing for their hearts this winter.

Imogen Tankard, from West Park, has fought back from lifesaving heart surgery to get behind the YEP-backed Sing for Your Heart campaign organised by Yorkshire-based charity Heart Research UK.

She and her friends at Broadgate Primary School, in Horsforth, will flex their vocal chords during a special singing event, which will raise charity funds and boost awareness of the health benefits of singing, on December 14.

We want individuals, music groups and performers across Leeds to stage their own singing events in December while fundraising to help in the prevention and treatment of heart disease.

Imogen was six months old when doctors realised her chest infections were something more serious. She underwent open heart surgery at Leeds General Infirmary to correct a heart defect and has since made a stunning recovery.

Her mum Vicky Dalby, 39, explained that she was told Imogen could have had just hours to live when hospital staff conducted tests revealing her heart complaint with a scanner paid for by fundraisers.

Four-year-old Imogen Tankard, who has had open heart surgery, is set to star in a Sing for Your Heart fundraiser with classmates at Broadgate Primary School. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Four-year-old Imogen Tankard, who has had open heart surgery, is set to star in a Sing for Your Heart fundraiser with classmates at Broadgate Primary School. Picture by Tony Johnson.

“If it wasn’t for fundraising buying extra equipment Imogen might not be alive today – that is why events like this are so important,” she said. “Even if it’s something you do with work, school or mums to get together and have a good old sing-song it is a good excuse to get together and do something great.”

Imogen’s singing event with more than 30 of her classmates will be one of dozens across the city at schools, pubs, train stations, community spaces and businesses next month. As part of this the YEP is urging readers to set up Sing for Your Heart events while sending us singing videos and event information.

Barbara Harpham, national director of Heart Research UK, said: “Everyone can Sing for their hearts, whether you’re in a band, choir or are just partial to a bit of karaoke.”

Sing for Your Heart follows studies at the University of London that have shown that the health benefits are both physical and psychological. Professor Graham Welch, from the university, said: “It is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body.”

The Yorkshire Evening Post played a pivotal role in the early success of Heart Research UK, which was founded by Leeds surgeon David Watson.

SEND IN YOUR SINGING VIDEOS

Why not organise a festive sing-song in aid of Heart Research UK this winter?

To get involved in the annual campaign, backed by the YEP, we are urging people to set up a singing event in Leeds and tell us all about it.

We are also calling for readers to submit their singing videos and pictures in a bid to raise awareness of the campaign. Email jonathan.brown@ypn.co.uk with your event details, images or videos.

You can apply for a free Sing four Your Heart kit from heartresearch.org.uk/events/sing-your-heart or by calling 0113 2347474.

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