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Financial Help

There may come a time in your life when you are in need of Financial Help but have you thought to ask The Somerville Foundation for assistance? We have a range of funds available to members to relieve the financial burden they may find themselves under. All of our funds are available to GB residents only.

Sue Shackman Hardship Fund

There are many GUCHs out there (as there are non-GUCHs) whose financial situation is not great, so the Sue Shackman Hardship Fund is available to assist them. Support may be needed for a variety of reasons, for bills to be paid while in hospital, seeing you over a period when you have financial difficulties as a direct result of being unwell, or perhaps to assist with the purchase of an essential item which has gone wrong, such as a fridge. 

Criteria: Applicant must be a GUCH patient and provide proof in the form of a hospital letter or appointment card. Proof of financial circumstances will also need to be provided, such as benefits received (if relevant), bank statement, copy bills.

How to apply: Request an application form from or call 01473 252007.

Coaguchek Machine Fund

Do you have to regularly visit the hospital to have your INR levels checked? Would being able to do this in the comfort of your own home be beneficial to you? If so, you may be able to apply for a grant to fund the purchase of your own machine (through your ACHD/GUCH Cardiologist or Cardiac Nurse Specialist). 

Criteria: Application can only be made on behalf of an ACHD/GUCH patient who is in financial need.

How to apply: Contact your ACHD/GUCH Cardiologist or Cardiac Nurse Specialist. See our Specialist Centres page for contact details. Applications for funding to purchase a Coaguchek machine will only be accepted from an ACHD/GUCH Cardiologist or Cardiac Nurse Specialist, as support and training will need to be given. 

Beverley Downie Memorial Fund

The Beverley Downie Memorial Fund was established by her family in 2000, initially using money given in her memory when Beverley died.  They were aware, from Beverley’s own experience, that GUCHs sometimes have problems when pursuing their education and they wanted to help in some way.  Subsequently the fund was set up to provide financial assistance for GUCHs attending college or undertaking training courses.

The fund is able to provide small grants to help with such things as assistance with course fees, the purchase of books, materials or equipment, and other related expenses such as travel costs.

Criteria: Applicant must be a member of The Somerville Foundation and a GUCH patient.

How to apply: Request an application form from or call 01473 252007.

Ra’s Opportunity Fund

Laura Alexander was a popular and much loved GUCH. When Laura died in 2007 her husband Russell, family and friends established a Memorial Fund.

Russell knew how important it was for GUCH patients to meet and support each other at informal events, workshops and conferences. He also appreciated that many of those who were born with heart conditions struggled financially. This may be because they had many obstacles to overcome, sometimes struggling at school following time off for surgery and recuperation and being frequently discriminated against at work.  

Ra’s Opportunity Fund will provide funding to those in financial hardship to help ensure that they can fully participate in events for patients. It will help to cover transport, accommodation and food costs as well as ‘spending money’ when appropriate. Funding may be given to attend our events or events held by similar support organisations. When appropriate, money may be used to pay, for example, accommodation costs directly to the hotel or transport costs directly to the railway company.

The Fund may be used proactively when The Somerville Foundation, or staff from GUCH Units, believe it would benefit patients to encourage them to attend.

Criteria: Applicant must be a member of The Somerville Foundation and a GUCH patient.

How to apply: Request an application form from or call 01473 252007.

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Information on managing your heart condition, including Physical, Emotional and Mental Health.

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Make a donation to The Somerville Foundation today and you will help us to continue to offer the valuable services we provide to those born with a heart condition.