We will keep this section as up to date as possible with your FAQ’s – Can’t see yours here? Contact us and we can help.

Why is the charity’s name changing?

We have made changes to our name to better reflect what the charity does – we have put your heart at the centre! Read our blog to find out more.

When will the name change?

We will officially announce the change on Monday 10th of January 2022 and the change will take place throughout the course of the week. Notification will go out via our newsletter, blog, and social media channels.

Who decided on the name change and why?

In response to our survey, focus groups and feedback from webinars it was agreed that a refresh was necessary. A focus group met and the new name and logo were agreed. It was felt that it was important that the name was not completely different but instead was recognisable and mentioned what the organisation does.

Why not GUCH?

The reason we were named GUCH (PA) is because it was an acronym of Grown Up Congenital Heart (Patients Association), which is how the Specialist units were also named (GUCH Units). The need to change the name came about as the pronunciation is the same as ‘gooch’ which means something quite different and is used more widely these days; which you can investigate further on urban dictionary sites. We were struggling to get Corporate partners to work with us and it was felt that our name was holding us back.

As the Specialist Centres slowly moved from GUCH to ACHD (Adult Congenital Heart Disease). The term ‘GUCH’ is no longer in general use amongst many patients and professionals. Its meaning is not understood without being spelled out as ‘Grown Up Congenital Hearts’ and when spoken (pronounced “gooch”) its meaning is entirely different (slang for the perineum, usually on a man). As the English language evolves the term ‘grown up’ is also considered outdated and has been replaced more commonly with ‘adult’ too.

The charity moved away from using this term as its name 10 years ago to help demonstrate our purpose and the nature of our work to professionals and potential funders and to appeal to more patients and their families too.

Has anything else changed?

No – the charity remains run by the same Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers.

Has the service you provide changed?

In terms of our offer, we plan to provide more support, rethink how we provide information eg webinars and informal zoom sessions to combat loneliness in these difficult times, and get patients more involved by volunteering etc.

Did you work with a branding agent?

To ensure funds are preserved for ACHD support, we simply asked a designer to create the logo at minimal cost.

 What does the change mean for me?

Nothing – all our services remain the same!

Do I need to change my regular donation or membership bank mandate?

There is no need to make any changes to your regular donation or bank mandate, our financial details remain the same.

Do I need to do anything about my social media account/who I follow?

No – Our social media handles will automatically redirect to the new name Somerville Heart Foundation so there’s no need for you to change anything!

I am a Friend of The Somerville Foundation – what happens now the name has changed?

Our Friends and Supporters scheme remains the same apart from the new name – so apart from seeing our new logo at the top of your screen there’s no other change.

 How do I get in touch with you?

We can still be reached on all the same channels as before, our email addresses will change to @sfhearts.org.uk and our new website will be www.sfhearts.org.uk but our original email and website will redirect so even if you use an old address it will still reach us!

 What will happen if I use the old website or send an email to your old address?

Thanks to the wonders of technology, our old addresses and website will be re-directed to our new ones!

How will I access information on your website?

You will access information the same way as you did before. If you have not yet signed up with us, you will still need to join us to use our services.

What should I do if I have a problem using your website?

You can fill out our contact form on our website or email us on info@sfheart.org.uk

Can I still volunteer or get involved?

Of course, it’s business as usual!

Why do I need to become a part of Somerville Heart Foundation?

If we have insufficient information about the people we’re supporting (eg if you’re only on our closed Facebook groups) then we cannot count them in our numbers when applying for grants and funding.  In order to apply for all types of funding including The National Lottery, Trusts and Foundations and community fundraising, we need to be able to demonstrate the types and levels of support that patients access.

If you access our mental health and wellbeing counselling, love reading our quarterly UPBEAT, or simply enjoy the peer support this community provides you need to sign up to continue accessing these services.

You can remain on our closed Facebook groups.  However, until you sign up you won’t be able to access the wealth of resources in the dedicated area of our website or any other support we provide.

Why are there two paid tiers?

The resources and support available are the same for all 3 tiers, friend, Supporter and Patron.  We want everyone to be able to access our wealth of leaflets, quarterly newsletters, mental health & wellbeing counselling and more.

The further benefits to those who sign up as Supporters at £60 per year include a guaranteed free place at our annual patient event, a printed copy of our February Heart Month newsletter (the electronic version will of course still be available) and subsidised MedicAlert Membership.  The Patron tier (£250 per year) also includes an invitation to meet with some of the country’s leading cardiologists & VIPs at exclusive events and join in with topical discussions.  The income from these paid tiers will contribute towards the costs the charity incures and help secure the future of The Somerville Foundation.

A ‘Friend’ will need to pay to attend patient events – how much?

No fixed pricing as yet and this depends on venue, sadly our annual patient conference costs in excess of £12,000 with many who book not turning up, so we need to ask for a small contribution towards the costs of these in future.

A ‘Friend’ will only get a place once the paid members have been

It will be on a first come, first served basis, so the sooner you book the more chance you have of securing a place whether a ‘friend or paid member.

What about carers, family, friends – will they need to pay for a place?

They will need to be a ‘friend’ and pay £15 (or whatever contribution has been set) or they can choose a ‘paid’ tier too.

Can I defer my place for another year?/event?

Not at the moment.

What do you actually get as a ‘Supporter’? Is it value for money?

Please visit the sign up page which has expanded information on each tier.

If I am a supporter or patron do I get the additional benefits each year?

Supporters and patrons will receive a pack annually upon renewal. Friends will receive an electronic pack each year. *

Membership of Medic Alert – I am already a member, can I still get the discount?

Yes, let us know when your membership is due for renewal and we’ll make sure you get the voucher in time – as long as our voucher is valid for a year this shouldn’t be a problem. *

Membership of Medic Alert – how long will the ‘voucher codes’ be valid for?

Up to one year. *

I pay by direct debit, so how will a voucher code work?

We inform Medic Alert*

Can I ‘gift’ a sign up for someone?

Of course, just provide their details and we’ll do the rest, you will need to have their permission to share their information with us.

If my partner and I are both on ‘paid’ tiers, will we both get a pack?

You will each have your own profile so will each receive your own pack, place and accessories.

Explain more what you get for the ‘Patron’ tier

We are still working on this, due to the pandemic physical meetings are not yet possible but the plan is to have a ‘dinner with the docs’ which will involve some of the country’s leading cardiologists coming together with our ‘Patrons’ over dinner and topical discussions; either new advances in CHD medicine or topics of your choice but we will confirm later in the year.

I am not bothered about a pin badge or a printed UPBEAT, what if I don’t want a welcome pack?

Just let us know and we’ll make sure we save on costs! If you don’t require a physical pack we can send the information electronically.

Is there another way I can support the organisation?

Donate, volunteer, fundraise – visit our get involved page to see how you can help us make a difference.

What if I don’t want you to email me?

Part of being a member is receiving our emails. You may unsubscribe at any time but won’t be able to access our support eg the dedicated area of the website, our wellbeing Counsellor, grants etc. We try to limit emails to essential communications as some information is private (such as your sign up details) and must thus be communicated directly through email.

What if you register me but I don’t sign up?

You will remain a ‘friend’ but the information we hold on you will be very limited and we may not be able to count you in our numbers when applying for grants and funding etc. The more we know about you, the better the service we can provide.  It’s quick and easy to sign up and will make it simpler if and when you need our support in difficult times.

What if I don’t want to remain a ‘friend’?

Email us to ‘unsubscribe’ and say you do not want us to retain your information. You will be deleted from our database and will no longer be able to access our support or services.

I am on the closed Facebook group but do not want to be a ‘friend’

We are not going to ask you to leave though it would be great if you signed up to be a’ friend’ but you will not be able to access our other services. If you are signed up we can include you in our numbers when applying for grants and funding etc which all helps demonstrate the impact of our work.

Please know we do try to accommodate everyone’s tastes and budget and ensure services are ‘inclusive’ and available to everyone whether a ‘Friend’, ‘Supporter’ or ‘Patron’ whilst also trying to bring in a small amount of regular income. None of the services/support you currently receive will change as long as you remain a part of us.

If you have any other questions on becoming part of us, please do get in touch with us.

*Contents / details may vary or change without prior notice.

**By becoming a part of Somerville Heart Foundation, you will have access to our patient services and dedicated area on our website. This access does not give you any voting rights or entitle you to privileged access to the board, trustees or other users. We reserve the right to terminate the account/profile of anyone who does not comply with our policies. Read full Terms & Privacy Policy.

If you do not see your problem here, please get in touch with us. Help us troubleshoot further by giving us the error you are getting, the page you are trying to access, and a screenshot if possible. The more information you give us the easier it is for us to troubleshoot.

When I sign-up, I get a message saying my account already exists?

If you have purchased from our shop previously, you already have a “shop” account but will still need to sign up to become a part of us. Please follow the instructions below.

I have a shop account, how do I join Somerville Heart Foundation?

Please log in with your shop account, go to the sign up page,  select your option (friend, supporter or patron), and complete the form to register. If you encounter any further problems please get in touch with us.

I am having trouble logging in / resetting my password, what can I do?

Please get in touch with us by filling out our contact form with your account details so we can investigate the problem. You are able to reset your password on the Log In page.

How long does it take to process once I have submitted the form?

We will endeavour to process requests as quickly as we can, but please allow for 1 – 2 working days to process your registration. Paid tiers are active once the direct debit mandate has been set up.

How can I find help and advice on your website?

By becoming part of The Somerville Foundation, you can access a wealth of information and guidance through online support and lifestyle issues, travel and insurance, financial assistance, participate in surveys and so much more in our dedicated community area.  View our sign-up options here and choose the tier that suits you.