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Students set to smash Guinness World Record for the largest display of origami hearts in aid of The Molly McLaren Foundation and Cardiac Risk in the Young

ByKatie May Nelson

A group of students from the Universities at Medway are tipped to break the world record for the largest display of origami hearts.

Counting got under way yesterday (February 9) on the campus. Project organisers were joined by independent adjudicators to see if the students had reached their 50,000 target.

The project involved the efforts of more than 40 community groups across Kent, including schools, the Scouts, Age UK groups and volunteering groups.

The exhibition of paper origami hearts at The Deep End, North Road, Chatham Picture: Katie Nelson
The exhibition of paper origami hearts at The Deep End, North Road, Chatham Picture: Katie Nelson

Volunteers from the universities’ Sports Studies Society have been working over six months to try and reach their target of 50,000 origami paper hearts.

The world record attempt aimed to raise money for both Cardiac Risk in the Young and The Molly McLaren Foundation, which was set up in memory of a student who was studying Sports Health on the campus.

University of Kent PhD student and group leader Ian Farr said: “We wanted a project that would bring people together.”

People hard at work counting the origami hearts Picture: Katie Nelson
People hard at work counting the origami hearts Picture: Katie Nelson


The students and volunteers constructed an interactive exhibition of their hard work which would resemble the chambers of the hearts.

Despite knowing roughly the number of hearts they had produced, independent counters took park in the verification which was strictly controlled to Guinness World Record standards.

Ilona Hurrel, civil engineer from Rochester Bridge Trust who took part in the count, said: "I like the thought behind it in that, as you walk through the display, you're actually walking through the heart itself."

"I was amazed at how the communities got involved in this and the amount of people that Ian's approached it's been absolutely phenomenal."

A total of 53,703 hearts were tallied up Picture: Katie Nelson
A total of 53,703 hearts were tallied up Picture: Katie Nelson

Tony O' Hare, chair of the British Origami Society said, "As far as the Guinness World Records, they are a good thing to aim at and something like this, I don't think anyone has done before.

"I reckon most of the people folding those hearts have never done origami before."

Sian Donnelly from Cardiac Risk in the Young was also at the event to speak about how she became involved with the charity following the sudden death of her brother, Adam, on a family holiday, at the age of just 17.

The display was build to resemble the four chambers of the heart Picture: Katie Nelson (7074140)
The display was build to resemble the four chambers of the heart Picture: Katie Nelson (7074140)


"It's amazing. It's lovely to see and the amount of hours of work that must have gone in. It's incredible."

At the end of the evening, it was revealed their target number was smashed, reaching a total of 53,703. This number will now go off to Guinness to be verified before they can find out whether the World Record is theirs.

The display is set to be showcased at the Chatham Historic Dockyard and Rochester Cathedral later this year.

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