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MACE launches Skip to the Beat for NI Chest Heart and Stroke

From left, Jackie Trainor, NI Chest Heart and Stroke; Craig Gilroy, NICHS ambassador and Ulster rugby player; and Claire Rea, MACE Northern Ireland.

Convenience retailer MACE is calling on people to grab their skipping ropes, turn up the volume to their favourite music track and Skip to the Beat in aid of charity partner, Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke (NICHS).

Taking place on Saturday, October 10, Skip to the Beat will raise vital funds for the charity, which has continued to provide support to thousands of local people living with and at risk of chest, heart and stroke conditions. The charity has also recently set up Northern Ireland’s first ever community rehabilitation service for Covid-19 survivors.

Launched in early September, Still Caring through Covid aims to raise awareness about all NICHS’s prevention and care services, including providing support to survivors dealing with both the physical and psychological issues caused by Covid-19. The service involves regular online, phone and video call check-ins, with the reintroduction of face-to-face interactions taking place when restrictions are sufficiently relaxed.

NICHS has been the partner charity of MACE for over four years and to date, the convenience brand has raised over £200,000 for the organisation. The aerobics-style challenge will replace NICHS’s annual Red Dress Run, which was due to take place in September but has since been postponed until next year.

“The impact of Covid-19 has severely impacted the ability of NICHS to fundraise for these vital support services with events having been cancelled or postponed, so we are really pleased to get on board with this campaign,” said Desi Derby, marketing director of MACE.

“Our retailers are passionate about the incredible services that our charity partner provides, and we hope to raise both money and awareness of all the services, especially the new rehabilitation service that the organisation is offering to Covid-19 survivors. We encourage all staff and customers to Skip to the Beat to keep their own hearts healthy and raise money for this important service for the community.”

Jackie Trainor, director of Engagement and Income Generation for NICHS, said: “MACE has been instrumental over the course of the partnership in helping to drive donations, and we are delighted to be working alongside them to launch our joint-initiative, Skip to the Beat.

“Nearly 90% of our work relies on donations from the public and because of the pandemic, fundraising came to an abrupt halt. In early September, we launched the Still Caring through Covid campaign which aims to raise awareness of all the support available to local people, including our new COVID-19 Recovery Service.

“Like many of our services, this new service has proven invaluable to people across Northern Ireland who are embarking on the road to recovery following their diagnosis and the funds raised from this challenge will allow us to continue with this work, alongside our regular services.”

Participants will receive a skipping rope and fundraising pack once registered for the challenge. A minimum donation of £10 is requested and on the day, those taking part can record their involvement on social media using #SkipToTheBeat hashtag to be in with a chance of winning a prize.

To register, visit: https://nichs.org.uk/skiptothebeat

For more information on NICHS’s redesigned prevent and support services including COVID-19 rehabilitation service, visit https://nichs.org.uk/our-support-services

Covid-19 survivors can be referred to the recovery service in the first instance by a medical professional. To self-refer, please email [email protected]

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