The people who helped Barbara through her heart problems

The people who supported Barbara Hardy through her heart attack and surgery, and who've benefited from her support in turn, explain the role they played.

Husband: John Hardy

Barbara Hardy's husband, John Hardy

After Barbara had her operation, she really lost confidence. She kept saying: ‘I can’t do this’, but I would always say: ‘Yes you can’. I have been amazed at what she has been able to do since then. “She wasn’t sure about going on the family holiday to Florida, six months after her surgery, but I persuaded her. And I couldn’t keep up! She went everywhere the grandchildren went, she went on the rides and enjoyed it all.

“When I saw the BHF were looking for volunteers, I showed the advert to Barbara and said: ‘This is an ideal job for you’. She wasn’t sure at first, but I encouraged her and she has got a lot out of it. I try to help out, too – when she does school visits I drive her there, then find somewhere to park while she goes in. People ask me to go to the BHF shop for them and I always take a lot of things. We both enjoy the fundraising work we do”.

Friend: Gail Brockway

She always thinks of other people; she’s so selfless

”I’ve been friends with Barbara for many years, through the church we both go to. She’s like a mum to me. She always thinks of other people; she’s so selfless. Even though she’s busy, when you ask her to do something she will always do it and give 110 per cent.

“Both my parents died  from heart problems. As a result, the BHF means so much to me and Barbara knows that. We’ve always been there for each other. My girls were born after my mum had died and Barbara gave me so much support.

“It’s always been difficult for her to stand up in front of people and the illness did knock her confidence, but she has made herself go ahead and do it anyway. I always make a point of telling her how well she has done. Now I think her confidence is back to where she was before. She leads worship at church and she leads the toddler group. She’s an inspiration.”

Daughter: Sarah Foster

Barbara Hardy's daughter, Sarah Foster

“We’ve always been a close family and when Mum had her heart problems, family meant even more to her. She loves that her grandchildren are still happy to be part of her life. Now there’s her great-grandson, too. She was so happy to meet him.

“Mum and Dad live just around the corner – in fact, they moved closer to us so they could see us more. Most days I pop in and see them and if not, I’m in contact by phone. When mum had her surgery, I used to visit her in hospital straight from work. When she got home we helped out with the cooking and shopping, because it did take a while for her to recover fully. We still help out, whether it’s changing a lightbulb or giving a lift... whatever they need.

“Mum does a lot for the BHF and we all do our bit as a family. I’ve done collections at supermarkets and the family take part in sponsored Santa jogs and other events. The BHF means a lot to us.”

BHF fundraising manager: Helena Mair

She is a complete joy to work with and to be around

“I’ve known Barbara for more than 10 years, in fact, I recently gave her a badge for 10 years’ service to the BHF. “Her whole family has been a huge support and they have done lots of fundraising work for the charity.

“Barbara does all kinds of things. She runs fundraising events for her toddler group and she has led school assemblies, which she is brilliant at. I know the children love her.

“She is a very kind, caring, thoughtful person. For me, she is a complete joy to work with and to be around. She is such a community-spirited lady, who makes a real difference. I would love to hear from more people like Barbara.”

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