A LIFESAVING new ward for youngsters with heart problems is one step closer to reality thanks to a donation from a Southampton club.

St Denys and Bitterne Park Conservative Club gave Wessex Heartbeat a donation of £3,171 towards the Daily Echo-backed High 5 Appeal’s final push.

Now they are urging more readers to help the charity raise the final £100,000 needed to build a new ward in Southampton General Hospital that will transform the hospital experience for thousands of young people who are treated at the cardiac unit.

The unit will be tailor-made for 15- to-30-year-olds, bridging the gap between the children’s and adults’ wards.

The ward will ensure that young heart patients are treated alongside people they have more in common with, making the hospital experience less stressful for them and helping them recover faster.

St Denys and Bitterne Park Conservative Club chose it as its charity of the year last year and raised the money through raffles, tombolas, a family fun day and its annual members' dinner.

The cheque was presented to Wessex Heartbeat at the club’s skittles night by entertainment secretary Ann Bartlett.

She said: “I decided to raise money on a big scale at the Conservative Club five years ago. It’s an incentive to come along to different things.

"It makes everybody have a go and it gets all the members involved in fundraising and it helps the wider community.”

The charity’s commercial manager Ken Wilde said: “At Wessex Heartbeat we are pressing ahead with the final push for the High 5 Appeal, so the monies raised by St Denys and Bitterne Park Conservative Club is indeed extremely welcome, and will help us towards our target.

"The evening was most enjoyable for me and my family, and I would like to thank members, not just for their generous donation, but also for their welcome.”

The club raised more than £3,000 for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, and hopes to raise a similar amount for this year’s charity the Abbeyfield Society, which provides accommodation, support and care for older people.