Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY)

CRY Logo JPEG.jpg

Up and down the country, there are thousands of people doing good deeds every day, and we decided to celebrate the great work that charities undergo with a regular feature on Tuesdays, to tie-in with #CharityTuesday on Twitter. This week, we caught up with Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) to find out more...

Where are you based and what geographical areas do you support people in?
The charity’s office is based in Leatherhead, Surrey but the services it offers are for the whole of the UK.

How do you support people?
Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) is the UK charity that supports those affected by conditions that can cause young sudden cardiac death. CRY provides families with bereavement support and funds fast-track expert pathology investigations at the CRY Centre for Cardiac Pathology (www.cry-ccp.org.uk). CRY raises awareness of signs and symptoms of cardiac conditions and supports young people diagnosed with life-threatening conditions through the myheart Network (www.myheart.org.uk). CRY funds medical research and operates a nationwide cardiac screening programme for any person between the age of 14 and 35 (www.testmyheart.org.uk). CRY funds fast-track expert medical services at the CRY Centre for Inherited Cardiovascular Conditions and Sports Cardiology.

How did the charity come to be founded?
The charity was founded in 1995 by Founder Alison Cox, following the diagnosis of her son (now the Charity CEO, Dr Steven Cox) with a cardiac condition. The lack of knowledge and support in the UK led her to meet families who had suffered a tragedy due to young sudden cardiac death and Alison decided more need to be done to raise awareness of this issue.

How many people do you have working at the charity?
38 full and part-time staff at the head office and we work with many more medical professionals on a self-employed basis to enable the charity to fulfil it’s cardiac screening efforts.

How can people support you?
CRY welcomes all donations and potential fundraisers and offers all the support that it can with their efforts. CRY is always grateful to anybody who may be able to help raise awareness by distributing the charity’s leaflets in their own local community. CRY would also like to support you with cardiac screening which is free to anybody between the ages of 14 and 35 (www.testmyheart.org.uk). CRY would like to screen all young people to help identify those at risk and help save young lives. If anybody would like to get involved to support CRY in any way, they can call the CRY office on 01737 363 222 or email cry@c-r-y.org.uk to offer their support.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?
The greatest challenge for CRY has always been to raise awareness of the potential risk with those that haven’t been affected. For many years we have been very well supported by the families of those that have tragically died from a cardiac condition and from those that have been diagnosed, but it can be very difficult to make those people aware who haven’t been affected by young sudden cardiac death, to help prevent further tragedies, despite the hard work put in to spread awareness by CRY. The effort by affected families in their local communities is changing this and public understanding is definitely improving.

Do you have any charity events coming up and where can people find out about these events?
You can find all of CRY’s upcoming events by going to http://www.c-r-y.org.uk/upcoming-cry-events-places/. You can also subscribe to our e-newsletter to be notified of events by going to http://www.c-r-y.org.uk/subscribe/.

Is there any advice you could give to other charities?
Advertising doesn’t always have to be expensive, but can really make a difference to your efforts. There are now many online places where it is possible for events to be promoted free of charge and often can be specific to the sort of people you want to appeal to (eg: running event websites when looking for London Marathon runners). CRY has also received real benefit from targeted advertising on Facebook. The limit to the cost can be set by you (and can be just a couple of pounds) and you can target specific areas/demographics/interests so that you only pay for the people you want to see the advertising.

You can find out more about Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) at their website or via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.