You might have seen stories in the press recently criticising charities about the amount of income they spend on charitable activities.
At the BHF, around 78p of every pound we raise is used to fight heart disease – our top priority is putting your donations to good (and life saving) use.
Read our latest blog to find out more about how your money is spent:
Find out why a family from Northallerton, Yorkshire are planning to ‘Rock up in Red’ in the name of heart disease.
Andrew Proud suffered a heart attack at the age of 35 and was later diagnosed with coronary heart disease. Following his diagnosis, Andrew’s family decided to do something different to raise money for the BHF.
Andrew’s wife Nicola is currently organising a black tie dinner called the “Rock up in Red Ball” which will take place in February next year. With a three course meal, charity auction, raffles and live music from a local band, it’s set to be a night to remember!
Speaking about the ball, Nicola said: “After Andy’s heart attack, it was absolutely overwhelming to receive so much support from the local community and that’s when I decided to turn a worrying and difficult situation into something positive.”
The planning of the event has become a full family affair as the couple’s daughters, 7 year old Hazel and 4 year old Chloe have helped design the front cover of the brochure.
We hope the ball is a great success!
Power our life saving research this Christmas by giving a gift that will last a lifetime.
The Yorkshire Man of Steel is a new landmark structure being built overlooking the M1 in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. The project is designed to honour the people and places that have forged a lasting legacy in Yorkshire.
A steel heart will sit within the Man of Steel engraved with 150,000 names. For a donation to the project, your name, or the name of a loved one, will be featured on the iconic heart. You’ll also receive a specially commissioned Heart of Steel badge and personalised certificate.
As the BHF is a beneficiary of the project, 10% of your donations will go towards our life saving research.
To find out more please visit: https://www.bhf.org.uk/get-involve…n-of-steel
Merry Quizmas everyone!
It’s time to get festive, and what better way than with a Christmas quiz? Sign up and download your free Quizmas party pack now, and you’ll have everything you need to host a fantastically fun event – including quiz questions and answers, DIY bunting, a winners’ rosette and lots more!
Check out our website for more info on hosting a Quizmas Party for your friends, family or workmates to help raise money for our life saving research: https://www.bhf.org.uk/quizmas
How much are we really eating?
Portion control made the news again today and it’s a topic that is becoming increasingly important when nearly two-thirds of UK adults and a third of children are overweight or obese.
Choosing a healthy, balanced diet is a key way of protecting and promoting our heart health, but difficulties often arise when faced with ever growing portion sizes.
We conducted a study to illustrate just how much portion sizes have increased over the past twenty years. Our study featured a comparison of common household foods in leading supermarkets against the portion size information from 1993.
Calling all Tameside residents – we need your help!
Coronary heart disease is the biggest killer in the UK, and Tameside has the highest death rate for CHD in the country - we want to raise awareness of this condition in the area and help people improve their heart health.
We’d like to speak to anyone from Tameside who is either living with coronary heart disease or has lost a family member or friend because of a heart attack.
If this sounds like you, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you think you know someone else who fits the bill, it would be great if you could tag them below or share our post on your Facebook page!
“There should be no reason why, after going through something so tough, you should feel embarrassed about something that marks you as a survivor.”
You may remember Shell featuring in one of our posts a few months ago when we shared her inspiring fundraising idea. She has found a unique way of coming to terms with her heart surgery scar.
Before going in for surgery, Shell decided to do a bit of research and began talking to people, via Facebook, who had already had similar surgeries.
“Just before I went in, I started my own page on Facebook. It’s a place where everybody can show off their scars. I’ve had so many people share theirs for the first time. It’s been amazing.”
After an overwhelming response, Shell decided she wanted to create a calendar with beautiful photography that would show people of all ages baring their scars. Within just 2 weeks of coming out of hospital she was well on her way to making her idea a reality.
“People seemed really interested and wanted to be involved. It took off really fast.”
Shell’s determination to turn her scar into a positive for both herself and others, is something we really admire – well done Shell!
“Be proud and know that you’ve won the battle.”
Michelle Houston discovered she had a heart condition aged 23. She was a jet-setting air hostess with a love of exercise, so it was a total shock when, one evening in February 2011, she had to be rushed to hospital.
Tests revealed Michelle had both an atrial septal defect and partial pulmonary venous connection defect. Surgery was scheduled for summer that year.
Whilst her recovery progressed, it took time for Michelle to get used to her scar. “It was really hard because a lot of people just stared…I’d do anything I could to cover it up and I pretty much stayed in the house for the first couple of months to deal with it.”
Michelle saw a psychologist for a while, but time and the support of her family made the biggest difference - they all view her scar as a sign of bravery. Now, Michelle feels great both physically and emotionally. She got married in May this year and has also decided to pursue a new career as a fitness instructor and wants to help raise awareness about adult congenital heart disease.
We definitely think that Michelle, and all other heart warriors out there, should be proud of their scars!
Just over a week ago, 65 year old Bill Fisher from Oadby, Leicester suffered a cardiac arrest on the street. Thankfully three bystanders offered immediate assistance by calling the emergency services and delivering CPR.
Paramedics tried to revive Bill five times with a defibrillator, but it was only after a further 20 shocks at the hospital that they succeeded.
When asked about his ordeal, Bill had a simple message: "The main thing I want to say is thank you to those lads for not giving up on me.”
The confident actions of the three men who helped Bill were fundamental in saving his life and show just how critical the role of CPR is. If you want to learn the skills to help save a life, find your nearest BHF Heartstart course here:
Please vote for Bronnach and help her painting win an award for talented people living with rare diseases.
Bronnach Pemberton used to be a hands-on mum, but now she can't even lift her baby because of the devastating effects of heart failure. Bronnach suffered a massive heart attack days after her third child was born, permanently damaging her heart muscle. It has left her unable to care for her three small children, and she has been forced to give up her teaching job.
However, Bronnach has been able to keep up her love of painting; a hobby which she finds a relaxing therapy and a way of coping with the daily struggles of her condition. This week, she has entered one of her fantastic creations into the Rare Artist Awards; a competition showcasing the talents of people living with rare diseases.
Will you vote for Bronnach’s beautiful painting and help her get to the top?
“This wasn’t something I was expecting to hear at all. I’d heard of diabetes, but never related it to myself.”
Lyn Rodney is one of about three million people in the UK who have type 2 diabetes. On World Diabetes Day we find out how she manages to live with the condition.
At first, Lyn was unaware that her constant thirst and weight loss could be a sign of diabetes. A chance conversation with a friend who has the condition prompted her to get her blood sugar levels checked; a test that resulted in her diagnosis.
Since then, Lyn has learnt that lifestyle changes are an essential part of treatment for people with type 2 diabetes. This includes management of weight, diet and increasing physical activity.
“I had a lovely diabetes specialist nurse, who told me all about different food types and portion size, and I even started to use smaller plates for my main meal because psychologically that really works. Looking after myself has become a priority.”
To learn more about the research we are funding into diabetes, please visit:
We’re delighted to announce that our Tunnel of Love live auction raised nearly £70,000 last night!
The event, which took place at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, saw stars from the world of fashion and the arts join us for an evening of fundraising and entertainment.
British model Amber Le Bon and YouTube sensation Jim Chapman hosted the evening and were joined by a number of celebrity guests including Anthony Horowitz OBE, Sir Peter Blake, Millie Mackintosh, Pixie Lott and Lilah Parsons.
Speaking about the event, our Chief Executive Simon Gillespie said: “The money raised will help our Mending Broken Hearts Appeal and specifically a new ground-breaking institute to drive forward our mission to find a cure for heart failure.”
2 years ago, teenager Rahul Patel from Luton collapsed during a P.E. lesson at school after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Fortunately, lifeguards Jordan Batson and Tara Bonnett who work at the nearby leisure centre were able to offer immediate assistance by using their on-site defibrillator. The defib had only been in place for a week, but it proved to play a vital role in saving Rahul’s life.
Rahul is now adjusting to life with a pace maker, but following his experience, his mum Meeta is on a mission to get defibs installed in local schools. She has met with head teachers to explain the importance of these machines and how they can mean the difference between life and death.
"I would hate for another family to go through what I went through and not come through with a positive result. As a family we struggled and as a mum I struggled. If I can prevent another mum from going through that then it will be worth it."
To find out about applying for a defibrillator for your community, please visit: https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-healt…ibrillator
We’re delighted to launch our exclusive online auction of luxury items and once-in-a-lifetime experiences ahead of our Tunnel of Love fundraiser taking place next week.
Sports fans will have the chance to bid for a driving experience with Max Chilton, see the England football team play in a private box at Wembley or take an exclusive peek behind the scenes at BBC’s Match of the Day.
For the fashion-minded, there are prizes from renowned designers Alexander McQueen and Alice Temperley and we’re also offering the chance to be snapped by top fashion photographer, James Bignell, in a private photo shoot.
There are many more prizes up for grabs, so why not take a look and see what you could get your hands on!
How about this for a spooktacular garden!
For the past 7 years, Melisa Drew from Exeter has been decorating her lawn for Halloween, and this year is no different. Marking her favourite time of year, Melisa has spent two days transforming her garden in the theme of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. Her creation comes complete with sound effects, lighting and smoke machines – enough to give anyone a fright!
This year, Melisa has also decided to raise money for the BHF: "If I can help a charity at the same time as giving kids some fun then that increases the experience."
5 year old Tristan Dawe from Coventry is an incredibly brave little boy who has set himself a huge challenge!
Tristan will be joining friends from Finham Primary School and taking part in the Mud Runner Oblivion Junior event in June. Tristan has cerebral palsy and currently uses a walker to get around, but he is determined to start using his tripod canes for this event. His Daddy, Sam, will be helping him to complete the 5K course.
Tristan decided to raise money for the BHF after his great uncle Jon suffered a heart attack earlier this year.
We wish him all the best!
Why did the banana go to the doctor’s?
Because it wasn’t peeling well….
11 year old Tom Hayes, a budding comedian from Ormskirk near Liverpool, decided to write a joke book in memory of his two granddads who both loved a good laugh!
As well as writing his own jokes, Tom decided to contact celebrities to see if they would make a contribution to his special book. Amazingly, Tom got replies from many famous faces including John Bishop, Harry Hill, Arsenal FC and he also received two pages of jokes from Kensington Palace.
Tom is raising money for the BHF and the Southport Day Centre and has already raised a fantastic £420!
Every day 12 babies are born with a congenital heart defect in the UK. With our latest research strategy, we’re committed to supporting research so that no-one dies prematurely from heart and circulatory disease.
Knighted for services to medicine and surgery in 1991, Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub pioneered a number of operations to correct congenital heart conditions, and improve heart transplant surgery.
We speak to him about his career at the cutting edge of heart surgery:
Do you know how heart-healthy your environment is?
Today is World Heart Day and we’re encouraging everyone across the UK to make heart-healthy choices at home and at work. Whether it be getting active, reducing stress or eating a healthier diet, these lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Find more ideas for heart-healthy living here: https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/preventing-heart-disease