A Sutton teenager who has suffered from heart disease all her life is urging people to volunteer with the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Laura Honeyman, 15, from Rosehill, was born with Cyanotic heart disease and she has been a regular fundraiser for the charity. Now she wants other to help create community volunteer groups to fight the disease.

Laura, a Carshalton High school for girls pupil, often struggles to climb stairs and has, until recently, been unable to attend her maths classes due to the classroom being at the top of the school building.

Her disease has meant she often spends a lot of time in hospital and she has even attended classes there when too ill to go to Carshalton. But she is passionate about helping other sufferers and has plans to organise a spa day event this year to raise money for the charity.

Her mum Carole Algie said: “Laura wants to raise awareness. She loves school, but has to take a lot of time off for her condition. On a daily basis we have to keep an eye on her breathing and she has to take tablets.”

Carole believes there needs to be more investment into supporting families of sufferers. She said she has only recently learnt CPR, but should have been taught this when Laura was younger.

She added: “Other people might need help from the BHF. A lot of people I know have heart attacks. Without their funding and help, where would we be?”

Laura is one of an estimated 16,300 people around south west London who are fighting a daily battle against heart and circulatory diseases. Each year these devastating conditions claim the lives of more than 302 people.

The BHF in South London is urging residents to ‘take heart’ and set up new community volunteer groups, which have been crucial for raising money through various events, from sky dives to school collections. The money raised is then ploughed into funding vital research and identifying new treatments.

Karl Coppack, BHF Fundraising Manager for South London, said: “Heart disease is heartless. Too many lives are lost in Richmond, Teddington and Twickenham each year, and we’re determined to do everything we can to protect more families from this devastation.

“By starting a community volunteer group, you can help us fund the research that’s so desperately needed to bring us closer to beating heart disease. Together we can save more lives, and it’s a fantastic way to meet new people and make a real difference in your community.”