The Brave Heart Awards

Rewarding young people living with the challenges of having half a working heart.

Throughout childhood there are many certificates and awards given out to young people who achieve something different. They may be brilliant at sport; they may be extremely clever or it may be that they have achieved a full term in school. As our young members know having only half a working heart creates many challenges that can often leave them feeling left out at awards season.

Little Hearts Matter feels that they, like every young person, should be rewarded for what they learn and how they develop. The Brave Heart Awards have been created to help them aim high; understand their hearts and the challenges they face in a positive and empowering way.

The awards are not just for young people with half a heart, we also want to include their brothers and sisters and interested and supportive friends.

Who is eligible for an award?

Little Hearts Matter child and young adult members with a single ventricle heart condition can be nominated for all four of the awards. Heart healthy siblings or child friends of the charity can be nominated for the Fundraising and Ambassadorial awards.

All nominees have to be aged 8 to 18 years. There is no restriction on the number of times a child or young adult can be nominated for an award but the nomination must be for a different activity or newly learnt skill.

The Special Gold Award

Has been created to recognise a child or young person who has achieved multiple awards, either four of the same category or a mix of the four awards.

Recipients of the Gold Award would be invited to a presentation at the LHM Open Day each year.

Application and award process

Nominations are made in two different ways. The My Heart and Independent Living Awards’ nominations must come from: Parents, nurses, doctors, psychologists, teachers, club leaders or LHM staff can put children or young adults living with a single ventricle heart condition up for an award by completing and submitting the relevant application form.

If a parent or family member submits the nomination, the application must be supported with information and evidence from an independent representative. The application needs to clearly demonstrate how the child or young adult has increased their knowledge and involvement in their heart care and how they have used that knowledge to clearly take great steps forward. If the information is not clear the applicant may be asked to reapply at a later date.

A visit to the hospital will not automatically count for an award but if the child or young adult nomination can show how their knowledge has grown during a hospital stay, for example, learning to do their own INR tests or getting involved in decision making about their care, or perhaps how they have conquered a fear of needles or treatments. Their doctors or nurses can add to the application to strengthen the nomination.

The Fundraising and Ambassadorial Awards are open to any child or young adult who has worked to raise funds or awareness for Little Hearts Matter.

The children can nominate themselves but will need an independent adult signature to secure their application. They will need to include statements, written text and photos that describe how they have represented the charity.

Terms and conditions

The Brave Heart Awards aim to reward Little Hearts Matter child and young adult members with half a working heart who are able to demonstrate a growth in their understanding of their heart condition, its treatments and the lifestyle challenges that the condition creates. They will also need to demonstrate that the new understanding is being used to take an ever-increasing part in their medical care and inspiring balanced lifestyle decision making as well as empowering them to take an active voice in arenas for change.

The Fundraising and Ambassadorial awards will also be available to siblings and friends of the young member. The nominees are restricted to those aged 8 – 18 years. All nominations will need to clearly demonstrate independent evidence that support the award they are nominated for. For example:

The My Heart Award – doctors tell us that they can see that a young person has created their own list of questions to ask in clinic.

The Independent Living Award – a psychologist tells us about the steps a young person has taken to deal with their needle phobia.

The Ambassadorial or Fundraising Award – a teacher tells us about an event that has been organised by one of their pupils.

There are no restrictions on the number of times a nomination can be made for the same child or young person.