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A CHARITY is launching a campaign to raise vital money for children with congenital heart defects.

British Heart Foundation is kicking off Bag it. Beat it. to coincide with children going back to school in September.

To highlight the importance of their work, the charity has released the statistic that 31 South-West children die before the first day of school each year.

During Bag it. Beat it. the BHF is urging the public to donate bags full of their unwanted items to BHF shops to raise money for life-saving heart research.

The BHF says further and faster research will help more children survive with a heart defect and improve the quality of life for those undergoing life-changing surgery.

The charity runs a Heart Helpline, manned by heart nurses, that parents can call if they have questions or concerns about their child’s heart health on 0300 330 3311.

For more information visit bhf.org.uk.