Bosses at Preston’s Heartbeat charity are celebrating after a campaign to raise £37,000 for its new home smashed its target.
The cardiac rehabilitation charity’s new base at the former National Football Museum in Deepdale was officially opened on Tuesday night.
Classes at the new venue have been running for two weeks but the grand opening was held in front of a crowd of around 300 people - and TV Presenter Ranvir Singh cut the ribbon.
The charity’s chief executive Jill Rogerson revealed that a campaign - backed by the Lancashire Evening Post - to raise £37,000 to make its home a reality has not only been met, but it has been exceeded.
The money has been donated by members of the public through grants and was boosted by a substantial donation from the Frank Whittle Partnership.
Jill said: “It’s an amazing new centre, it’s a full transformation from where we were, it’s brought Heartbeat into the 21st century. I am full of excitement, it’s the start of a new chapter.”
The charity, which provides rehabilitation, education and research for heart patients in Lancashire was previously based at Harris Park in Fulwood. The museum building, which had stood empty for more than four years has been stripped out and given a complete refit it with a gym space, studio space, showers and changing rooms, areas for patients to socialise and stay after classes, and office space.
The charity was founded in 1978 by Keith and Rose Redman whose teenage daughter Gillian died aged 16 of a heart abnormality.
Keith and Rose recognised the need to develop support for people affected by heart disease after the hospital discharge and to recognise all their efforts A gym named after Gillian was officially opened by her mum Rose at Tuesday’s event.
Rose said: “I feel very emotional I just wish my husband Keith was here.”
A book documenting all the work Rose and her late husband Keith carried was also on show.
Good Morning Britain star Ranvir Singh officially opened the new Heartbeat base.
When Ranvir was just nine years old her dad Rattan died of a heart attack at the age of 42. She said: “When Jill asked me if I would come I said yes straight away.
“I can’t believe this space, it’s absolutely incredible for a charity to be able to pull of something of this magnitude. It’s a huge testament to all the hard work of everybody involved. You can see how many people it does affect.”
The charity operates across various sites in Lancashire, running classes in leisure centres to make them accessible for patients, the new location will see classes in the Preston area come under one roof.