Charity boosted by Lowestoft donation

A fundraising appeal for specialist heart care equipment has been given a boost by volunteers in Lowestoft.

Peter Orford, who runs the Friends Charity Shop in London Road South with his wife Margaret and more than 30 volunteers, has helped to raise thousands of pounds for two local charities – the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital's cardiology department and Palliative Care East – in the 18 months since the shop opened.

Yesterday, �10,000 was handed over to the new Sparks4Hearts appeal which is aiming to raise �400,000 to bring specialist cardiology equipment to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

Mr Orford, who is now on his second pacemaker, has undergone three cardiac procedures at Papworth Hospital near Cambridge since his condition was first diagnosed 13 years ago and is backing the Sparks4Hearts appeal so that patients can get treatment closer to home.

He said: 'I had to get up at 3.30am to get to Papworth in time for my heart treatment, but this appeal will mean patients, and their families, only have to travel to Norwich and it will make a lot of difference.'

Leisa Freeman, clinical director of cardiology at the NNUH, said: 'The equipment we want to buy is used to stop peoples' hearts going too fast, but at the moment people can only get that treatment outside the county.

'The money raised by Peter and Margaret and the volunteers here at the shop is vital.'

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The money for the NNUH is just the latest in a string of donations from the shop as both the hospital and Palliative Care East were presented with �10,000 earlier this year.