History Of The BCPA

April 1981

  "Zipper Club" fof East Anglia was formed - A federation of groups in each county. This was short lived and ceased to be a viable Association in less than a year. Fred Roach organised the Cambridgeshire members, which began with nine members and after The Zipper Club for East Anglia ceased Fred Roach continued as Chairman and leader of the Cambridgeshire group. Bi-monthly meetings took place.


April 1982

  Cambridgeshire Cardiac Patients Association "Zipper Club" was formed A newsletter was circulated.Fred Roach began hospital visiting in Papworth Hospital surgical wards as a voluntary worker. This work brought Fred into contact with almost every type of heart condition and through personal contact and study enhanced the follow-up system, which he began. He offered reassurance, help and support in lay terms with a common sense approach to the subject. Requests for membership were received from Papworth Hospital cardiac patients and their carers from surrounding areas.


Feb 1983

  First Area Group formed at Peterborough. Cambridgeshire Cardiac Patients' Association "Zipper Club" granted Charity Registration.


April 1984

  Second Area Group formed at Bedford. News of the Association spread and the follow-up system developed into a National Help-Line with calls coming from patients, their carers, doctors, hospitals, social workers, Citizens 'Advice Bureau, British Heart Foundation and other charities. The support and reassurance offered to all cardiac patients especially those patients awaiting heart surgery, and their carers was appreciated by many throughout the British Isles.


March 1986

  Name changed to The British Cardiac Patients' Association Zipper Club and National Registered Charity status granted.
  From 1986 Membership open to all cardiac patients and their carers. Full members are those who have received heart surgery and The Association is most grateful to those long-standing members who have continued for may years to offer their help and support to others.


The Future

  • We aim to set up a complete network of Area Groups throughout the British Isles
  • We hope that the training scheme will grow and that in rural areas where it is not possible to run a training scheme that individuals will use the booklet Guidelines - For groups and individuals engaged in visiting in hospitals, clinics, running help-lines and contacting cardiac patients and carers at home. This is currently where our contacts are made and where we make the Association known to those likely to need help and support.
  • We continue to receive recognition and hope to improve public awareness that we exist so that we may be able to reach cardiac patients and offer our help and support when they most need it which is during the period of anxiety when patients and their carers are trying to come to terms with a heart problem or are awaiting heart surgery