Leeds United has proved it is all heart as it reveals its chosen charity for the 2018/2019 season.
Following a formal process of online nominations, a shortlist of five local charities and face-to-face presentations, the decision was made to build a partnership with the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) - a charity that supports children and adults born with congenital heart disease.
Leeds United CEO, Angus Kinnear, spoke about the process and decision and said: “This decision was definitely harder than we expected, we had around 200 applications and the five charities we met with were all fantastic with some brilliant ideas, so a big thank you to all of them for their hard work.
“I’m delighted we have chosen the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund to be our charity partner for 2018/19, the work they do everyday literally helps to save lives and we want to be a part of that.”
Together the club and charity will work to raise vital funds that will provide life-saving equipment including Super Life-Support Machines and a new Dialysis Machine for the Children’s Intensive Care Unit at the Leeds General Infirmary.
Every year over 400 young heart patients are kept alive with these artificial ventilators, a device that breathes for the child to give their heart and lungs time to get stronger.
Money raised will also go towards completely refurbishing the CHSF family unit provision at the local hospital which currently consists of seven bedrooms, a kitchen and lounge area, as well as funding the accommodation they offer to families of patients next door to the hospital, keeping parents and siblings close by.
Another strand of the campaign, which will run throughout the entire season, will see the Whites help create once-in-a-lifetime memories for young patients and their families – whether this is through special visits with the first-team players and coaching staff, exclusive tours of Elland Road and Thorp Arch or the opportunity to lead the team out of the tunnel at Elland Road ahead of a game.
Sharon Milner, CEO at the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, said: “We are absolutely thrilled and very grateful to be chosen as the charity partner for Leeds this season, and can’t wait to get the ball rolling.
“Working with the club to reach the project aims will be inspiring to all its supporters, and our community of babies, children, teenagers and adults living with congenital heart disease – and their families.”
A fundraising page has been created for donations via www.justgiving.com