A TORFAEN community has raised more than £4,000 for the NHS by creating homemade blue hearts to display.

The Blue Heart group in the Churchwood area of Griffithstown was initially set up by Rebecca Jenkins for the community to show their support for the family of an 11-year-old boy, Finlay, who lost his battle with cancer, by displaying paper hearts in their windows.

But after the coronavirus outbreak, and with the blessing of the family, the blue hearts evolved into a fundraising show of support for NHS workers.


Carpenter Anthony Shaw came up with the idea to expand the meaning of the blue hearts and set up the fundraiser, which has raised more than £4,000 in five days.

“It started out as a way to keep ourselves busy while on furlough,” he said. “I made 40 initially and handed them out in the community.

“It was after that we set up the fundraiser. Then it really caught on.

South Wales Argus: Blue Heart admins Deb, Rhiannon, Leanne and Danielle, and (below) carpenters Chris, Maxx, Darren and Anthony. Picture: Blue Heart Thank You Group.Blue Heart admins Deb, Rhiannon, Leanne and Danielle, and (below) carpenters Chris, Maxx, Darren and Anthony. Picture: Blue Heart Thank You Group.

“We raised more than £300 in the first half a day after setting it up, and from then it’s just gone huge.

“The whole community has just come together.”

B&Q in Cwmbran and a number of local traders and timber yards have donated materials to help the group, who have made more than 600 blue hearts so far.

South Wales Argus:

(B&Q in Cwmbran are among the businesses to donate materials to the Blue Heart Thank You group. Picture: Blue Heart Thank You group)

The team has grown to 16 carpenters and a number of other volunteers through the community.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved, it’s been a whole community effort,” said Mr Shaw.

The group are setting up a website – blue-heart.co.uk – so other communities further afield can create their own Blue Heart fundraisers.

“It gives everyone at home something to do if you have been furloughed and gives something back to the NHS,” said Mr Shaw.

South Wales Argus:

(Volunteers for the Blue Heart Thank You group Picture: Blue Heart Thank You group)

“We’ve had people from further afield want to get involved, and as much as we would like to, we aren’t able to send these out to the whole of Wales and the UK.

“The family of one of the other carpenters are setting up Blue Heart fundraisers in Surrey and in Reading.

“But the heart is just a symbol, but the donations are for real, and those go to our NHS.”

The group is not currently taking any orders due to the incredible response so far, but you can find out more on the 'A Blue Heart Thank you' Facebook page, or donate at the Blue Heart JustGiving page.