British Heart Foundation
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Fighting for every heartbeat
|Legal status||Registered charity|
|Purpose||Heart disease in the UK|
|Board of Trustees|
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is a charity organisation in the United Kingdom that funds research into improving treatment, diagnosis and prevention of cardiovascular disease. The BHF also funds education, care and awareness campaigns towards preventing some forms of cardiovascular disease.
The British Heart Foundation was founded in 1961 by a group of medical professionals, who were concerned about the increasing death rate from cardiovascular disease. They wanted to fund extra research into the causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of heart and circulatory disease.
It is a major funder and authority in cardiovascular research, education and care, and relies predominantly on voluntary donations to meet its aims. In order to increase income and maximise the impact of its work, it also works with other organisations to combat premature death and disability from cardiovascular disease.
The British Heart Foundation focuses on five areas of cardiovascular health:
- Research – BHF will continue to pioneer research into the causes of heart disease and improved methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
- Information – BHF will provide information to help people reduce their own heart health risk.
- Campaigning – BHF will get government to establish policies that minimise the risk of developing heart and circulatory disease
- Equality – BHF will reduce inequalities in the levels of heart disease across the UK
In 2013 The British Heart Foundation had an income of just over £133m. In 2013 the BHF spent their income on Research (61%), care and prevention (20%).
BHF invested a £90.7 million in research during the year. They also invested £29.1m in Prevention and Care work including healthcare professionals, putting defibrillators in public places and producing heart health resources for all age groups. BHF also awarded money to six new projects under the Hearty Lives initiative. They also continued their Heart Information Series which teaches people how to save peoples lives.
Case studies of how BHF work has helped individuals can be found in their here . This includes examples of their research work and local volunteering activity.
The British Heart Foundation sponsored two television series produced by Twofour, Kitchen Detective and Kid's Fit Squad. Both series encouraged healthy eating and exercise with practical advice for families, and aired on the Discovery Health channel. The BHF, along with Cancer Research UK, is a major backer of the anti-tobacco campaign group Action on Smoking and Health.
Facts and figures
- There are over 950 BHF Healthcare Professionals caring for patients across the UK.
- Over 3,800 Heartstart UK schemes to educate people what to do in various emergency situations (not just cardiac emergencies). More than 3.5 million people have been trained by Heartstart UK in schools (for example via the Saving Londoners' Lives project) and the community.
- In 2013, the British Heart Foundation had a gross income of over £133m.
- Every year 1 in every 145 babies are born in the UK with a congenital heart defect.
- The 'heartbeat' logo was designed in 1971 by Sheila Harrison, one of BHF's regional organisers at the time. It's still very much in use today and is now one of the most recognisable logos in the UK.
The BHF is mainly funded by legacies and wills, accounting for 40% of their income, the rest is made up of other voluntary income (31%), profit from the retail division (23%) and investment income (5%)
Other annual campaigns include National Heart Month (held throughout February), Wear Red Day and The Big Donation as well as many other campaigns to recruit volunteers, raise awareness of BHF, sell stock and increase donations.
British duo Knock Twice released their debut single "I Heart You" in aid of the British Heart Foundation on 8 February 2010.
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The British Heart Foundation Shops Division was founded in 1986, and was renamed Retail Division in 2010. The BHF run a large chain of charity shops throughout England, Wales and Scotland, as of August 2013 they run over 730 shops which include over 160 furniture and electrical shops (or F+E shops), and they are looking to acquire more sites in the coming years. The BHF Retail division makes roughly £31 million every year accounting for 23% of the overall income of BHF, an increase of just over £2m from the previous year.
The charity is one of four organisations subject to a national boycott campaign regarding their funding of animal research. "Animal Aid plans to take out a series of newspaper adverts urging the public to stop giving money to Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, the Alzheimer's Society and Parkinson's UK unless they end their support for animal testing." In November 2011 a protest took place calling for the BHF and the University of Leeds to stop carrying out co-funded "lethal experiments" on dogs. The pressure group Animal Aid stated that 100 dogs had died since 1988 during the experiments.
The BHF has responded to these criticisms by saying the charity only funds animal research after grant applications have gone through an independent peer review process and follows the three Rs principles when considering such grants.
- American Heart Association
- Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
- Heart Disease Research Foundation
- National Heart Foundation of Australia
- United OneHeart Foundation
- Heart Protection Study
- "What we do". www.bhf.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
- "Who we are". ash.org.uk. 28 October 2003. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "Heart health: Nation of lifesavers: Heartstart". British Heart Foundation. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- BHF Annual Report and Accounts 2013; Facts and figures
- "Who we are". www.bhf.org.uk. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- "Jump Rope For Heart". Retrieved 25 March 2008.
- "The Angina Monologues with Victoria Wood". anginamonologues.co.uk. 16 February 2007. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- Oliver Wright (21 June 2011). "Animal rights group declares war on leading health charities". The Independent. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "Charities are attacked over experiments experiments". The Scotsman. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "Leeds University animal rights protest staged". BBC News. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "British Heart Foundation article by BHF Medical Director Professor Peter Weissberg".