A COUPLE who turned heartbreak to hope for other families when they started a charity in memory of their baby daughter have been given a £10,000 Big Lottery grant to help “heart” families.

Lagan Katherine Anne Grant lost her fight for life in April, 2011 at just 15 weeks old after being born with congenital heart defects (CHD).

Parents Carren Bell and her partner Barry Grant, who wanted “something positive” to come out of their loss, started Lagan’s Foundation in memory of her to help families with children born with the condition.

The money will be used to develop a pioneering Jungle Club in Manchester to help families with children under five with CHD or feeding issues.

Since it began, Lagan’s Foundation has raised more than £90,000 and grown from a locally-based charity to a national organisation arranging volunteer support at home and in hospital for families around the country.

Currently, they have 39 families desperately waiting for volunteer support.

Ms Bell, aged 34, who lives with her partner and two children in Horwich, said: “The figures of families affected are frightening. One in 100 children in the UK is born with congenital heart defects.

“Lagan had to have open-heart surgery within the first seven days to have any chance of life. She stayed in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool for another seven weeks.”

Ms Bell, who works for the charity full time, said that she became “angry with the lack of appropriate provision locally” so she mentioned to Alder Hey what the couple could do to help, and began fundraising.

The Jungle Club sessions will run every third Sunday of the month from 11am to 1.30pm at Ronald McDonald House in Hathersage Road, Manchester.

The charity’s major fundraising event is an East meets West “Hollywood to Bollywood” ball on Saturday, November 22 at Manchester’s Palace Hotel. Tickets are £60 for adults, £15 for children, and tables of 12 at £600.

To find out more go to www.lagans.org.uk