Singer Imogen’s
heartfelt plea

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Five-year-old Imogen Tankard had life-saving heart surgery when she was a baby now she is raising funds. Catherine Scott reports.

At just six months old Imogen Tankard under went life-saving heart surgery.

Now five, she is joining Heart Research UK, as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Together they are appealing for school and community choirs, Christmas carollers, singers, workplaces, pubs and cafés to hold a festive concert or sing-a-long to raise money for the charity’s work in the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.

Heart Research UK has spent £2.3m on research grants in the Leeds area in the last 15 years and more than £150,000 on healthy heart grants.

It started Sing for Your Heart over a decade ago, because singing is good for your heart, expanding your lungs and increasing oxygenation of your blood.

Imogen is holding her second Sing for Your Heart with the help of her school friends at Broadgate Primary School, on Tuesday December 13.

Imogen, of West Park, Leeds, had open heart surgery when she was just six months old after doctors realised that her repeated chest infections indicated something more serious. The surgery corrected a rare heart condition and she’s now fit and healthy.

Her mother, Vicky Dalby, said that research into heart disease helped save her daughter’s life. “Without research Imogen wouldn’t be here today, so I’m urging people to get behind events like Sing for Your Heart, which is one of Heart Research UK’s biggest fund-raisers, and help other children like Imogen.”

Barbara Harpham, chief executive of Heart Research UK, said: “Leeds loves Sing for Your Heart, joining our wonderful choirs, groups and pubs for a festive heart warmer.

“Singing is something anyone can do and is great for our hearts, so come on Leeds – sing up, sing loud and Sing for Your Heart.

“Whether you’re in a band, choir or just partial to a bit of karaoke, this is the perfect excuse to get together with friends, family and colleagues to have fun and raise money for Heart Research UK.”

To bring your school, work place, café or pub alive with the sound of festive singing and get your hands on Heart Research UK’s Christmas Cracker Quiz, call 0113 234 7474, email or go to