Southampton heart charity welcomes all walkers to city’s first ever “Heart & Stroll”

Leading cardiac charity, Heartbeat, has announced the launch of its biggest fundraising event to date, as over 2,000 people are expected to take part in a walk around Southampton Common to promote heart health.

Taking place on 29th June 2025 the countdown is on for “Heart & Stroll”, next summer’s big event which aims to raise awareness of good heart health through walking – and raising some much-needed funds along the way.

Heart & Stroll is inspired by Mark Ind, CEO of Heartbeat, whose son, Alex was born with a congenital heart condition. Mark knows the benefits of even gentle exercise for heart health. The event is also being backed by heart transplant patient and Heartbeat Trustee, Robbie Burns, 53, who was born with a heart defect that saw him endure two open heart operations as a child.

“My health deteriorated to the point where I was placed on the transplant list in 2019”, Robbie said. “I received the all-important call in June of 2020, the day of my wedding anniversary, that I was to receive a heart transplant the following day. It was a hugely emotional time and a lot to process.”

Since then, Robbie has lived with the challenges that come with a major operation and his recovery has come with ups and downs – but that did not stop Robbie from completing a 13 mile walk from his home in Winchester to Heartbeat House in Southampton in 2021 to raise £8,000.

Mark Ind, CEO said: “My work here at the charity has meant an enormous amount to me, one of the things that has struck me the most is that when you start talking about heart health, everyone knows someone who has been affected. It’s about coming together to be a community and to look after each other.”

Mark continued: “Our Heartbeat team want to encourage as many people as possible to join us for a walk around Southampton Common as part of Heart & Stroll next year”

Robbie added. “I want to encourage as many people as possible to walk in honour of someone who is living with a heart condition, knows someone who has, or simply just to connect with others and make new friends.”

Heartbeat has already received a huge amount of interest in the event and are expecting around 2,000 people to take part. Funds raised will go to support the work of the Wessex Cardiac Unit at University Hospital Southampton, the pioneering unit supports patients from as far north as Birmingham and as far reaching as Guernsey.

Mark said. “The joy of this, is that it truly is for everyone. Heart & Stroll is just that, we want people to focus and think about how they can look after their heart by taking part in this gentle exercise, but also give people the space to think about loved ones effected by heart disease and to take the time to raise a bit of money for the cardiac unit, but to also have fun.”

Further details on how to get involved will be available soon.

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