Children's Heart Surgery Fund - campaign to save children's heart surgery unit


Acceleris devised and managed an integrated communications programme for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF), a registered charity fighting a high profile battle to save children’s heart surgery at the Leeds General Infirmary.

What Acceleris did...

The project involved high level stakeholder engagement, event management, social media and often daily communication with the national media.

Acceleris organised several high profile events for the charity including a peaceful protest following a decision to close the unit, which due to the scale of the campaign has now been overturned. This event saw 3,000 people march through the centre of Leeds in support of the charity’s struggle.

The campaign won Gold in the 'Healthcare' category at the 2012 Yorkshire and Lincolnshire CIPR PRide Awards. Judges commented: "This was a major lobbying and public information campaign that got right to the heart of communities and had a clear and measurable call to action. It achieved impressive results in collecting signatures in support of the unit. This campaign demonstrates excellent use of a range of communications tools, in addition to media relations."

The results...

Acceleris secured widespread print and broadcast coverage of all the events including BBC Look North and ITV Calendar broadcasts (watch the clip below). The events were attended by BBC Radio Leeds and Real Radio. Print coverage included Yorkshire Evening Post, BBC News and Yorkshire Post.

Children’s Heart Surgery Fund director, Sharon Cheng, said: “The work that Acceleris has done in such a short time has been extremely successful in re-invigorating the campaign and raising awareness of our fight. The team has secured widespread coverage for the broken heart and choir events which were run very professionally and to a very tight deadline.”

The campaign was successful in overturning the decision to close the unit and heart surgery in Leeds continues today.

For more information or to support the campaign visit the Children's Heart Surgery Fund website.

Watch ITV Calendar coverage of a special charity song 'Don't Go Breaking Our Hearts', by the Cononley Singers and CHSF: