A HAMPSHIRE mayor is taking action to ensure young people suffering from heart defects get the best treatment possible.

Fareham mayor Dennis Steadman and his wife Carole took a tour of Southampton General Hospital’s Wessex Cardiac Centre to see the innovative work being done to help improve the lives of those living with heart conditions.

The tour came after Cllr Steadman chose Wessex Heartbeat’s HIGH 5 Appeal as one of his charities of the year, vowing to help the charity reach its fundraising target.

The Daily Echo-backed appeal, which has already won support from Olympic gold medallist Dani King, aims to raise £500,000 to fund a dedicated heart unit for young heart patients treated at Southampton General Hospital.

The new unit will be designed specifically for the needs of young people aged from 16 and will include bedrooms, exercise equipment, a social room and kitchen facilities for independence.

Cllr Steadman said: “It’s very good to actually see the cardiac centre and although this is our second visit, talking to the dedicated staff, and hearing about how much they can do for people with heart conditions helps keep us motivated to do more and raise more for the HIGH 5 Appeal.”

Alison Farrell, chief executive of the charity, added: “Dennis and Carole are such good supporters of Wessex Heartbeat, good sports and great fun. We are enormously grateful for the time, considerable energy and commitment they have put into fundraising for the HIGH 5 Appeal.”