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Appeal closes early after newspaper hits target

A weekly newspaper in the North West has raised £144,000 in just nine months for lifesaving equipment at its local hospital.

Last September the Southport-based Champion Media Group joined forces with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to launch the Heart of Southport Appeal.

The aim was to raise £152,000 to purchase a portable scanner and a 3D echocardiograph machine for Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, benefiting heart patients throughout west Lancashire.

Local groups, and members of the community responded generously to the appeal and, in less than a year, fundraising events, activities and donations have brought the appeal to within £8,000 of the original target.

Group editor Malcolm Hindle said: “To raise £144,000 in just nine months is simply staggering, and shows just how much our readers and businesses in and around Southport have taken this issue to heart.

“It’s definitely a great result for The Champion and shows just how much of an impact local newspapers can have on getting a good result for the communities they serve.”

After the BHF managed to negotiate a lower price with the devices’ manufacturers, the figure was enough to bring the appeal to a close and pay for the state-of the-art machines.

Ken Fretwell, the BHF’s fundraising volunteer manager, also thanked kind-hearted Champion readers, as he added: ”I would like to thank everybody who has contributed to the success of this appeal. I am absolutely thrilled that we have reached our target.”