CHARITY shops across Sussex have raised £965,000 in the past year to help fund life-saving research into heart disease.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) says all those who donated items, bought goods or gave their time to volunteer have helped contribute to the shops’ success.

The money has enabled the BHF to fund 520 defibrillators and six healthcare professionals in the area.

The BHF also currently funds eight Heartstart schemes in Sussex, which teach emergency life Support and CPR training in local schools and businesses.

All BHF shops have an in-store community board with information on local events, nearby heart support groups and BHF leaflets and information.

BHF shops are located in Brighton, Hove, Eastbourne, Lewes, Rother, Wealden, Portslade, Burgess Hill and Mid Sussex and sell anything from clothes, shoes and handbags to CDs, DVDs and books.

Charity area manager Lyn Boagey said: “We’re truly overwhelmed with the ongoing generosity of the local community in Sussex.

“We’re so grateful to all our supporters and want to thank every single person who has joined us in the fight against heart disease.

“People often don’t realise that the sofa or dress they donate to or buy from their local BHF shop actually raises vital funds and helps pay for anything from an echo machine in their local hospital to a community heart support group.

“We couldn’t fund this life-saving equipment or research in Sussex without the support of the local community and we hope they will continue to support BHF shops for many years to come.”

Around 1,095 people die from coronary heart disease (CHD) in Sussex every year, but with continued support from local people, the BHF can fight harder to reduce this figure.

CHD is the UK’s single biggest killer, causing approximately 74,000 deaths in the UK every year.

BHF shops offer a free collection service for donations that can be booked over the phone by calling 0800 915 3000, or online for larger furniture and electrical items at