BHF Cymru inspires school children to become future heart scientists

15/03/2017

Research by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has helped halve death rates from heart and circulatory disease in Wales over the past 50 years. Our scientific research has helped to revolutionise treatments which means that around 70% of people now survive a heart attack. Our research has also pioneered the surgical techniques that ensure most babies now survive congenital heart disease. Before the BHF, 4 in 5 children born with congenital heart disease died before their first birthday. Today thanks to research, 4 in 5 survive into adulthood.

BHF Cymru is passionate about inspiring the future generation of heart scientists in Wales to ensure that this research continues. To mark British Science Week, on Friday 17th March from 9.30am to 12noon at the National Assembly for Wales Senedd building, BHF Cymru will provide the opportunity for pupils from Mount Stuart Primary School in Cardiff to become heart scientists, and work alongside our world-leading funded research team from Swansea University.

The pupils will take part in their own research experiment, and will have the opportunity to engage with several demonstrations to learn more about the vital research being carried out by our Molecular Cardiology team.

BHF Chair Professor Alan Williams who leads the team at Swansea University said: “We are very much looking forward to the opportunity to show children what it means to undertake heart research and have them participate in their own experiment. We hope to inspire them to think about how important research is in developing effective treatments for those living with heart conditions, and how it can help to save lives”.

Helen Borley, Headteacher at Mount Stuart Primary School said: “It is vital that we give our learners opportunities to be inspired and excited by science and to see that their own career pathways could be started by their experience today. We are proud to be part of this project today and I am sure that the learners will gain much from the experiments”.

This event is part of a three day engagement event organised by BHF Cymru. BHF Cymru are holding an evening reception on Wednesday 15th of March from 6.30pm at the National Assembly for Wales Senedd building, hosted by Angela Burns AM, to celebrate BHF funded research across three universities in Wales. On Thursday 16th March, BHF Cymru are holding a Pop Up Laboratory where members of the public are invited along to the National Assembly for Wales Senedd building to learn more about BHF Cymru research currently ongoing at Cardiff University. These events are sponsored by Angela Burns AM.

Angela Burns AM said: “I am delighted to sponsor the British Heart Foundation Cymru events that are being held in the Assembly this week. BHF Cymru undertake an important role in researching heart disease and educating people about how to reduce the risks of suffering from heart complaints. I am delighted that Mount Stuart School pupils will get the chance to ‘work’ alongside some of our greatest heart scientists and I am sure that the experience that they gain will encourage some of them to follow similar career paths in the future”.

Ruth Coombs, Head of Wales said: “We know how important our heart research is in Wales, contributing to improving and saving lives, but we want to share this understanding more widely.  We hope that those coming to the event will leave inspired by the work we do.  Who knows it could lead to someone becoming a scientist, or lab technician, or wanting to raise vital funds for more research in Wales.”

Find out how BHF-funded research is beating heart disease at bhf.org.uk/research

The media are invited to attend the events being held at the National Assembly for Wales Senedd building on Thursday 16th and Friday 17th of March.

 Thursday 16th March 2017 from 9.30am to 4pm BHF Cymru Pop Up Laboratory where researchers from Cardiff University will be holding demonstrations on their BHF funded research.

Friday 17th March 2017 from 9.30am to 12noon, Mount Stuart Primary School will be attending the Senedd to take part in research demonstrations by BHF funded researchers from Swansea University.

 To request interviews or for more information please call Rebecca Morgan on 07823 353998 or at morganr@bhf.org.uk. Our out of hours contact details are: BHF press office on 020 7554 0164 or 07764 290381 (out of hours) newsdesk@bhf.org.uk