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DMU students Niamh and Beth get creative to help save young lives

Two budding creative designers at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have been using their skills to raise awareness of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS).

Niamh Beange and Beth Russell are the creative force behind GO18FORJOE, a new campaign from local charity the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT).

Beth and Niamhmain

Joe was just 14 when he died from SADS, a condition that can strike anyone at any time, particularly seemingly fit and healthy young people. Twelve young people aged 12 to 35 in Britain die each week from undiagnosed heart problems such as SADS.

Since Joe's death, his family and friends have campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness and try to reduce the instances of this silent killer, setting up the JHMT.

Niamh and Beth, who are studying for a Graphic Design and e-Media Foundation degree at DMU and Leicester College, found out about the trust through their course - and are glad to help with the campaign.

Nineteen-year-old Niamh said: "There was a chance to get work experience with the charity while completing our coursework. We thought it was a great opportunity.

"As we learned more about the JHMT, its aims really resonated with us. It's a charity that does so much for young people, allowing them to reach their potential while keeping them safe, by making them aware of this lethal condition that affects our age group.

"It's a cause that many young people do not know enough about. We're glad to be a part of changing that."

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Beth, 19, added: "We have designed the campaign's logo and look for GO18FORJOE, including leaflets, a 'selfie board' that people can have their photo taken with, sponsorship forms and a header photo that people can use to show their support by posting on their social media profile.

"Many of these materials are included in the GO18FORJOE kit available to download on JHMT's website.

"I hope the work we've done will help more people - especially young people - to be inspired by the work of the trust so that they join the campaign and GO18FORJOE."

The JHMT is a charity close to the heart of the De Montfort Student's Union, which has supported and organised sporting events in aid of the trust.

Go18Joemain

Chair of the JHMT Steve Humphries, Joe's dad, said: "The idea behind GO18FORJOE is to invite Joe's many friends from his school year, his family and trust supporters - along with anyone who wants to get involved - to take on a personal challenge, any time from now until April 2017.

"We're asking people to do something involving the number 18. Maybe you'll run or walk 18 miles for Joe, cycle 18 miles, or play nine-a-side-football.

"You can then tweet us using the hashtag #GO18FORJOE and let us know what you're doing to raise awareness, funds, or how you're going to pledge support for our campaign.

"So many young people like our Joe are denied the right to celebrate their 18th, as Joe would have done last month, due to undiagnosed heart conditions like SADS.

"GO18FORJOE is a chance for everyone to get motivated, creative and active and do something positive to help save young heartbeats".

To get involved, visit http://jhmt.org.uk/, or follow the trust on Twitter @JHMTorguk or on Facebook at facebook.com/JHMTorguk.

Posted on Friday 20th May 2016

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