Children's Heart Support Network

Formed in 1988 by parents of children with heart disorders the Children’s Heart Support Network (CHSN), was formally known as the Wessex Children’s Heart Circle (WCHC).

The CHSN changed its name and structure in 2012 to reflect the changing style of support that families seek, and the changing face of paediatric cardiac surgery in England & Wales.

The CHSN is a support group for the families of children with heart disorders, and its members can all relate to one another regarding the emotions, experiences and fears that occur when a hospital visit or surgery is required.  Our work is centred with the children’s Cardiac Units that our membership attends.

When funds allow, the CHSN provides small, relevant pieces of medical equipment for home use where finance is unavailable from the Health Trust or other statutory authorities. As funds allow, we also supply some of the niceties to make the children’s stay at cardiac units more comfortable, e.g., Nursery Bedding, Playroom equipment, audio/visual equipment.

Welfare Payments, as funds allow, are also available through a grant making application and help those families who are experiencing financial difficulties due to being in hospitals, and to those families who have extended stay.

We support families by putting them in touch with others, often local to themselves, who have experienced the traumas, fears and stresses that occur with having a heart child.  We also help with emotional support before, during and after hospitalisation.  Sadly, this can, on occasions, extend to bereavement support.

The CHSN is entirely reliant upon donations and fundraisings by its members and supporters, and voluntary help for its activities. The CHSN is run entirely by volunteers.

If you would like further information about the Children’s Heart Support Network or if you would like to help please email: chsn@live.co.uk