Project information

Hearts & Minds

Approximately 80% of adults and young people born with heart defects suffer from poor mental health. Our Hearts & Minds project will equip congenital heart patients to become mentally robust, resilient and in control of their mental health.

12 month pilot

Charity information: The Somerville Foundation

The Somerville Foundation logo
  • Need


    Approximately 80% of adults and young people born with heart defects suffer from poor mental health.
    “The days were dark and I spent many of them counting down the hours until I could go to bed and cry. I’d wake up late to shorten the days and be in bed early to listen and count my heartbeat.”– Sarah, CHD Patient.


    Through our Hearts & Minds project we will be able to offer heart patients like Sarah a lifeline. The programme involves:
    • Identifying and reaching out to heart patients suffering depression, anxiety, panic attacks and other mental health issues.
    • Providing 1-2-1 counselling
    • Delivering mindfulness sessions and resilience training
    • 24-hour support via telephone and forum
    • Meet-ups and peer support groups
    • A befriending scheme

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To help heart patients battle poor mental health


    » Workshops, support and training to help patients become mentally robust, resilient and in control of their mental health
    » Meet-ups that will help patients build their own support networks to reduce isolation and occurrences of depression, anxiety and low mood
    » 1-2-1 counselling with a dedicated Mental Health Support Worker to help patients when they need it most

    What success will look like

    We will reach 30,000 Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) patients, giving them the tools, information and support they need to improve their mental health

  • Impact


    From a baseline of 81% at the start of the project, we will reduce the occurrence of depression in CHD patients by 25% ; 60% of CHD patients will feel that their mental health has improved because of participation in the Hearts & Minds project; 50% of CHD patients will say that they know where to turn for support when experiencing mental health problems; 25% of patients will feel that their heart health has improved as a result of their improved mental health.


    Lack of engagement from heart patients. We will mitigate against this risk by widely publicising the project across key channels including Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, and in the local press. We will work with key agencies including mental health charities, hospitals, doctors surgeries and community organisations to raise awareness of our help mechanisms.


    We will provide 6-monthly update reports for donors and an end of project report.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £114,310

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £34,000 Counselling 2 part-time Mental Health Support Workers (17 hours per week each)
      £19,200 Meet-ups 24 meet-ups for 360 patients
      £1,200 Webinars 36 webinars, cost of development for 432 patients
      £12,000 Mindfulness Workshops 12 Mindfulness sessions for 360 patients
      £10,000 Buddy Scheme Part-time befriending scheme co-ordinator ( 17 hours per week)
      £3,000 Website Development of patient area of website to offer 24-hour support
      £20,000 Helpline Extending our patient helpline to offer 24-hour support
      £14,910 Project Management Project Management and support services costs
  • Background


    Our project will run across the UK, helping heart patients both face-to-face and online.


    30,000 adults and young people born with heart problems.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Somerville Foundation is the only UK charity dedicated to supporting people born with heart conditions. We are small and work on the ground so have daily contact with our patients and can respond quickly to their needs.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Anne Crump

    Mental Health Support Worker. Anne will lead on mindfulness workshops and 1-2-1 counselling.

    Nicola Graves

    Development Director. Nicola will lead on the project and secure partners.