Friday, 12 December 2008

Hurry! Hurry......

Forgotten to get your Christmas cards?

Don't panic! You can still order from the charming selection available on our online shop today.

You'll receive them within 3-4 days - just in time to write and post before the second class mail deadline of 19th December. Phew!

So don't waste any more time - ORDER NOW!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Great Christmas gifts by text to benefit the BHF

Ever wanted to own signed framed England shirt (pictured right), or to jump out of a plane for a tandem skydive, or to go paintballing in the woods with seven pals?

Well now's your perfect chance, as all of the above are among items up for grabs in a new prize draw being run by our charity partner Fitness First, operator of fitness clubs across the UK.

All you have to do to enter the draw is text BEAT to 81400.

Texts cost £1.50 with 90p donated to the BHF. But hurry! Entries close on 15 December and winners will be notified on 19 December.

All winning items will make perfect Christmas presents, and can be delivered to a given address in time for Christmas.

See further terms and conditions

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Yoobots are here!

Ever wondered what you'll look like in the future....?

Now you can find out by creating a mini digital Yoobot version of you.

  • Bring it to life
  • Give it your face
  • Dress it
  • Decorate its room
  • Feed it
  • Decide everything it does

By travelling through time, you’ll see what you’re going to look like when you get old. You can even decide when your Yoobot dies!

The Yoobot game is latest part of our Food4Thought campaign to help children take more responsibility for their own health.

It encourages children to consider the long term consequences of their food and activity choices – and offers them a chance to experiment with their own future.

Join the Yoobot revolution!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Are you speedier than Santa?

At the BHF we’re getting fit for the festive season!

Thousands of Santas will be donning their running shoes and red suits to take part in our Santa Jog events across the UK.

You can get into the holiday spirit too by playing our fun online game to help Santa get in training so he’s ready for the big day.

Please help us to promote the jogs by emailing the game link to your friends, family and colleagues.

What do you think of our Santa game? Post a comment below.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Experiment with your future!

Ever wondered what you'll look like in the future....?

Now you can by creating a mini digital version of you with our brand new Yoobot.

Here's how it works:

Get born
Give it your face - upload your photo
Dress it and decorate its room
Feed it what you want
Make it do what you want
Travel through time and see what you'll look like when you're old
Decide how it lives and when it dies!

Free at from Wednesday 26th November!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Take credit for helping us save lives!

The BHF credit card has raised over £1.5 million for the British Heart Foundation. To celebrate, we’ve launched a brand new card design, reflecting the pioneering nature of our life-saving research.

We’ve also got a great offer of a complimentary seven day Fitness First gym pass!

For every successful application made, MBNA Europe Bank Ltd will contribute £50 to us when you make your first card purchase. MBNA will then contribute a further 35p for every £100 you spend.

Typical 15.9% APR (variable)

PLUS, when you spend over £100 on your BHF credit card, you’ll be able to download a complimentary seven day guest pass for your local Fitness First gym.

Apply today

What do you think of our cool new credit card design? Post your comments below.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Heart patient Julie’s recovery challenge

We always love to hear from our supporters. When Vicki Gilham wrote to tell us about her family’s sponsored walk in aid of the British Heart Foundation, we thought we’d find out more. Here’s the full story as told by Vicki’s dad, Pete.

“On Saturday 18 October this year, a party of 11 of us set off from the church in Patterdale to walk and scramble our way up Helvellyn in the Lake District via Striding Edge.

“My wife Julie had her mitral valve repaired in August 2007, and had set herself the recovery challenge to be able to climb Helvellyn again.

“We mentioned the trip to our son and daughters and they said they wanted to come with us. The children thought it would be a good idea to turn it into a sponsored event and set up a webpage on JustGiving.

“The climb was a very hard day for Julie. Without the continual encouragement of the family and numerous rest stops she would never have made it. The weather did not help with driving rain, strong wind and low cloud cover. After five hours of grit and determination, she finally made it to the top.

“There must be a God because as we made the final scramble up to the summit, the clouds lifted, the sun came out and the views were magnificent.

“We had originally planned to do the trip a week later but couldn't book any accommodation. That was the weekend of the Original Mountain Marathon and the terrible storms in the Lake District we all saw on the news reports!

“We ended up making over £1,500 for the British Heart Foundation.”

Have you organised your own fundraising activity or taken part in a BHF event? Post your comment below and tell us what you've been doing.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Models needed this Thursday in London!

This coming February, we're launching a new BHF fundraising campaign called Red for Heart.

For the campaign, we're holding a photoshoot this Thursday, 13th November from 1.00-5.00pm in north west London. We need over 100 people to be our Red for Heart models!

The shoot will be of a crowd of people, all wearing red, holding up a huge heart shape and the photo will be taken from above.

To sign up for the photoshoot, please complete this simple form

When: 1-5pm, Thursday 13th November
Where: Park Royal Studios, 1 Barretts Green Road, London NW10 7AE
How to get there: Located in north west London, the studio is a five minute walk from Harlesden Underground station on the Bakerloo line (see map).

Don't forget to tell your friends and colleagues. Foward them the form

Thank you for your help and we hope to see there on Thursday!

Fitness First takes to the skies for the BHF

Staff and members at Fitness First have shown they are all heart by raising more than £81,000 for the BHF, the gym chain’s fundraising partner.

In the first year of the three year partnership, gym members have taken part in events including sky dives, our London to Paris Bike Ride and a static marathon run.

Daredevil Helen Cooke, 24, works at the Northampton branch of Fitness First. She raised more than £400 for the BHF by taking part in a sky dive.

Helen says: “I’d wanted to do a sky dive for a long time so when I saw the opportunity advertised in my gym I decided to go for it. The experience really was as amazing as I thought it would be and it was great to know I was raising money for a good cause at the same time.”

Douglas Rouse, Head of Corporate Partnerships at the British Heart Foundation said: “We are thrilled Fitness First has really risen to the challenge this year. With their enthusiastic fundraising they are playing an important role in helping raise awareness of heart disease as well as raising vital funds to fight it.”

Each of the 170 Fitness First clubs in the UK will continue to work closely with BHF over the next two years.

Find out more about Fitness First and the BHF and our other Charity of the Year partnerships.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Hearty walkers brave the elements

Nearly 100 hikers set out on this year's BHF Hearts First Chilterns Hike and even the wind, rain and mud couldn’t keep them away!

With the weather looking like it was going to be miserable all day, the BHF hikers left the start in Wendover Woods to brave their 18 mile hike. They followed a testing yet picturesque cross country route, traversing their way across some stunning Buckinghamshire countryside armed with maps, waterproofs and a keen sense of adventure

The hikers returned from 2pm with the last returning just as the dark was setting in (their torches proving very handy!) Many returned covered from head to toe in mud but all with beaming smiles on their faces.

We hope to raise £20,000 from this event and early signs are good that we will reach our target.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Got a story to tell?

We'll shortly be launching our annual Food4Thought campaign aimed at tacking childhood obesity. We're looking for people to support us.

We need families who have made lifestyle and diet changes; either to lose weight or because you have realised the importance of leading healthier lives.

You would need to be willing to support the campaign and be available for media work, most likely in the form of a phone interview for local newspapers or radio.

Your story really can make a difference in helping to tackle this serious health problem.

To find out more, please contact Alaina McGregor in the BHF Press Office on

Thursday, 6 November 2008

It's one helluva ride for hearts

Are you brave enough to go to hell and back for the British Heart Foundation?

News reaches us of a fiendish challenge being organised by Catford Cycling Club in London called, 'Hell of Ashdown Challenge'.

The ride is on Sunday 1st February and comes at the start of our major fundraising National Heart Month. Half the proceeds from the event registration, plus all additional sponsorship will go to the BHF.

The tough 110K route goes from Biggin Hill to Ashdown Forest taking in some devilish hills.

If you'd like to take part and help raise money for our live saving work, go to

Or see our event finder for a British Heart Foundation event in your area.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Help us ban the sale of cigarettes from vending machines

It's illegal to sell cigarettes to children...but did you know that across England and Wales 46,000 11-15 year olds regularly buy them?

That's because one in six children who smoke buy their cigarettes from cigarette vending machines.

We want to reduce the number of young people who are putting their health at risk. To help do this, we want to see an immediate ban on the sale of cigarettes from vending machines.
Support our campaign and sign our petition now.

Have you spotted a cigarette vending machine that's easily accessible to children? Post a comment and let us know.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Stand up and be counted

Have you got something to say about services for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, such as angina or stroke?

If so, please take ten minutes to fill out our online survey on the future of cardio and vascular services in England.

Your views are important because we will shortly be preparing our recommendations for a new Cardio & Vascular Health Strategy in England for 2010-2020.

By completing our survey you really can help to make a difference.

Find out more about the Cardio & Vascular Coalition

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Your Heart Matters

We've just launched Heart Matters, a brand new free service for you if you're looking to improve, or look after, your heart health.

When you sign-up you'll receive a special Heart Matters pack (pictured right) including a 'heart risk' tape measure, a guide to heart health and a 5-a-day Food Diary.

You also get access to a dedicated Heart Matters HelpLine, staffed by cardiac nurses and heart health advisers, regular issues of 'heart health' magazine, plus the chance to receive regular support emails on issues including getting active, healthy eating and well being.

Find out more about Heart Matters at the new website

And don't forget to let us know what you think about our new free service by posting a comment below...

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Will you go Red for Heart next February?

February is National Heart Month and a chance for you to take a stand against the UK’s biggest killer.

Every day, over 500 people die from heart and circulatory disease. The BHF is dedicated to saving lives through pioneering research, patient care and vital information.

In February, we’re urging people to raise funds and go Red for Heart.

To help you, we’ve put together a Red for Heart kit with all the tools and advice you need to make your fundraising a success.

Here are some fun ideas for starters:

  • Have a Wear Red Day at work, school or in your community
  • Throw a red dinner party or event with friends and family
  • Organise a red-themed coffee morning or bake sale

… anything goes as long as it’s red!

Find out more at

Order your Red for Heart fundraising pack

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Clear out your wardrobe to help beat heart disease

Did you know that one of the best – and easiest – ways you can help us is by donating your unwanted items to our shops?

The BHF has over 500 charity shops across the UK including our specialist books and music shops, and larger furniture and electrical stores. We urgently need good quality shoes, clothing, handbags, toys, bric-a-brac, DVDs, books and music.

Last year, our shops raised over £12.5 million to help beat heart disease. Donating your unwanted goods directly to our shops is a convenient, and cost-free, way for you to continue to support us, even in these tough financial times.

There are various ways you can donate your items:

  • Pop into your local BHF Shop and drop off your unwanted items. Find your local shop or call 0844 412 5000.
  • Use our book and clothing banks, located in supermarkets and car parks. Find your nearest collection point
  • Door to door collections – we post you a plastic bag that you can fill and leave on your doorstep for collection on an appointed day.
  • If you have larger items, such as furniture or electrical goods, please call 0844 412 5000.

Find your nearest BHF Shop

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Designer love

Have you seen this year’s BHF annual review website yet?

The site has been garnering praise from the design industry for its superb typography and use of Flash.

Of course, it’s not just the sleek design that makes the annual review site worth visiting. It’s full of inspiring stories of the people who’ve made our year – both BHF supporters and those who benefit from our support.

You can also discover how our pioneering research, vital support services, fundraising activities and campaigns link up in the fight against heart disease.

Some of the design blogs we’ve appeared on:
Computer Love
Form Fifty Five

Monday, 20 October 2008

From sofa slouch to exercise addict

Everyone has different motivations for exercising – from losing weight or letting off steam, to getting fit or keeping active in retirement.

But if you haven’t set foot in a gym since school, making that first move can be the hardest part.

Take for example BHF Heart Runner Andy Baston. Aged 43, he has a family history of heart attacks and a high-stress job as an air traffic controller. Andy worried for his health, but used to be too exhausted to do anything about it.

Then, two years ago, a friend said he was going to enter the London Marathon. Andy decided to take stock of his sedentary lifestyle and joined a running group at his gym.

Andy says: "The following year I ran a 10k race and a half marathon for the British Heart Foundation, and this year I ran the London Marathon for BHF in three hours 50 minutes.

"I couldn't believe it. Now (my wife) Tina has run a 10k race. If we can do it, anyone can. There's even a man of 75 who runs with my group.

"Competing for charity is close to my heart and will hopefully give me more years than my father and grandfather could enjoy."

If you’ve got an individual place in the Flora London Marathon, find out how you can run for the BHF

Find out how you can get active for your heart

Read more about Andy plus other inspiring stories on the Daily Mail's website

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Stunning weekender for BHF teenhearts

Twenty-two teenagers from England and Wales, nine BHF staff, three nurse volunteers and three facilitators... it can only be the meet@teenheart Weekend Stunner!

The event brings together 13 -19 year olds who have a heart condition to share their experiences.

The weekend is important as these young people spend most of their lives isolated from other people suffering from similar conditions to themselves. An event where everyone has a heart condition offers a unique and rewarding opportunity to socialise and have fun in a supportive environment.

The residential event was organised by the BHF and took place last weekend at the Calvert Trust site in the Lake District. A weekend stunner it most definitely was. Glorious weather, challenging activities and a fantastic bunch of people made the event a huge success.

The participants took part in workshops on photography, story telling, or journalism. They also challenged themselves to outdoor pursuits including rock climbing, abseiling, horse riding and an assault course. Without a doubt, everyone who attended achieved something new – including the staff!

Look out for pictures, stories and 'vox pops' from the weekend that will be going onto the Meet@teenheart area of the yheart website over the coming weeks.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Heart Runners at the 2008 Great North Run

Take a look at our fantastic photos of Heart Runners who took part in last weekend's BUPA Great North Run, which we've posted on our Flickr online gallery.

Around 1,000 Heart Runners turned out for us and are hoping to raise more than £350,000 for our fight against heart disease, the UK's biggest killer.

Our thanks and congratulations once again to everyone who took part.

See the photos from the day now

Monday, 13 October 2008

Jogging for hearts

We've been overwhelmed by the success of this year’s Woburn Abbey Jog.

More than 500 joggers turned up to take part - that's double the number from last year.

We're hoping to raise £25,000 from this year’s jog and are well on target, but still need your help to reach the magic number - every penny really does make a difference.

Event Organiser, Robert Cox says: “A heartfelt thank you from everyone at the British Heart Foundation. Thanks to the money you raise the BHF will make even more progress with life-saving care in the community.”

To find out about our autumn and winter events near you, see our Event Finder on our main website.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

A Mother's Story - download our latest podcast

What is life like when you find out that your new baby has a complex congenital heart condition for which, currently, there is no cure?

How do you cope with your young son undergoing weeks and weeks of treatment in hospital in his first year of life, never knowing if when you say goodbye at the doors of the operating theatre it might be for the last time?

And what about the uncertain future your son and your family now face?

Our latest BHF podcast covers all of these questions as we hear from Marion, a mother from north London whose one-year-old son was born with a heart condition.

To listen to the podcast, simply subscribe to our podcast feed on the iTunes music store or alternatively download it directly from the BHF website (right-click on this last link and then select 'Save As' to save the podcast to your computer.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

A view to a thrill

The stars turned out on Sunday night for a special tribute to James Bond author Ian Fleming, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year had he not sadly died from a heart attack in 1964 at the age of 56.

The evening at the London Palladium raised funds for the British Heart Foundation, and our Chief Executive Peter Hollins was in attendance to make a thank-you speech to the sell-out audience. Here he writes about the night...

"It was a great evening with a whole host of Bond stars, made even better by the excellent organisation which the BHF team had put into playing its part in the evening, and the fact that we had so many volunteers who had given up their Sunday evening to pass around the hat (well, bucket actually) to collect donations for us.

"I had the opportunity to thank the audience, and it’s not every day that you have the opportunity to share a stage with Stephen Fry, Jeremy Irons, Daniel Craig, Beverley Knight and about twenty ex-Bond girls, nor to be introduced by Duran Duran (albeit on film!)

"But, for me, the least star-struck of people (or simply out of touch according to my kids), the high spot of the evening was unquestionably a hug from Joanna Lumley.

"Accepting lots of money for the BHF and meeting my youthful crush, as I admitted during last year’s Valentine’s campaign, in person - how much better can life get?

"I only hope my wife doesn’t read this."

Monday, 6 October 2008

Spoons man Peter hits the road to help hearts

A huge well done and thank you to all our BHF Heart Runners - around 1,000 of them in total - who took part in this year's BUPA Great North Run yesterday.

Among them was 82-year-old Peter "Mr Spoons" Lee (pictured right), from Kilmarnock, who took on his toughest challenge yet - and in doing so helped to raise vital funds for us.

Peter, 82, wore his official BHF Heart Runners vest and finished the half marathon course yesterday in three hours. He managed to raise £400 for the BHF - money that will help keep vulnerable hearts beating.

Heart patient and BHF fan Peter has previously featured in his Heart Runners top on ITV's The X Factor, when he auditioned by singing a version of Gene Kelly's Singing In The Rain while playing the spoons - watch his performance here

He said: “I joined the Heart Runners team because 16 years ago I had a triple heart bypass. By running I feel like I can give something back.

“I’m so proud to have run the Great North Run for the BHF. It was tough at times but knowing I was doing it for such a great cause kept me going.”

Julie Sorrell, our Head of Events, said: “The Great North Run is a major fundraising event for the BHF and thanks must go to all the Heart Runners and their sponsors for their support.

"The funds raised will ensure the BHF can continue to fund pioneering research that saves and improves lives.”

Heart and circulatory disease is still the UK’s single biggest killer. All funds raised by the Heart Runners team will help ensure the BHF can continue working to beat heart disease through its lifesaving research and vital prevention and care work.

Taking part in a BHF event is a great way to have fun, get fit and save lives. To apply for a place in the 2009 Great North Run visit - or call 0844 4771181.

Did you take part in the Great North Run yesterday? If so we'd love to hear from you about how it went. Simply add your comment below this post.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Get festive fit for the BHF

With the weather turning chilly, why not set yourself a goal to ward off the winter blues?

BHF Santa jogs take place across the country in December and are a great way to get fit and have fun... and support your favourite heart charity at the same time.

You'll get a free Santa suit which you can customise any way you like. You could form a festive Santa Jog team with friends, family or colleagues. Children are also encouraged to take part in the fancy dress, with small prizes offered for the best costumes.

It's never to early to get into the festive spirit. Plus you'll know you really deserve those mince pies!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

James Bond night: shaken not stirred - and sold out!

We've just been informed that tickets have now sold out for the The Story of James Bond – A Tribute to Ian Fleming.

The event takes place this Sunday 5 October at the London Palladium, in aid of the BHF.

Hosted by Joanna Lumley and Stephen Fry, the night promises to be a star-studded spectacle with Bond theme music, Bond girls and guest appearances galore.

Are you one of the lucky people who managed to get tickets for the night? If so, we'd love to hear from you after the event.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

A Tale of Two University Cities

The fifth annual Oxford to Cambridge Hearts First Bike Ride took place on Sunday and saw approximately 950 cycling heroes tackling the 89 mile route in aid of the BHF.

Starting in the centre of Oxford, the popular bike ride then headed off through Oxfordshire and into Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, taking in some truly breathtaking scenery along the way. Riders finished in the heart of Cambridge on Midsummer Common.

Last year’s cyclists raised £134,000 of life saving funds. Event Manager Melanie Blackman is hoping sponsors will be just as generous this year.

Two top fundraiser prizes of a night in the Oxford Belfry and the Cambridge Belfry hotels with breakfast, courtesy of QHotels, are up for grabs to those sending in their sponsorship before 5th December.

Melanie said: "It was a fantastically well supported event. The fog at the start of the ride did add a little extra challenge but the sun soon shone through offering riders views of the spectacular countryside around them."

At the finish, riders were awarded a commemorative medal, free BHF t-shirt and relaxing massage. The RJ Ride Guide stunt team showed just how much control you can have over a bike with a breathtaking display of bravery. And for those ready to kick back and relax in the sunshine, delicious crepes, jacket potatoes, ice cream and a bar offered welcome refreshment.

Fancy cycling for the BHF? Find out more about our Hearts First Bike Ride events

Monday, 29 September 2008

Will new shock images stop smokers?

This week, graphic pictures will appear on cigarette packets in the UK warning about the dangers of smoking.

The UK is the first European country to introduce such images, which will include pictures of a tumour, heart surgery and a diseased lung.

The BHF doesn’t steer shy of using shock tactics to get our message across. Our recent chest pains awareness campaign includes violent scenes depicting the symptoms of a heart attack.

Maura Gillespie, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at the BHF, said: “We believe the graphic picture warnings on cigarette packets will provide a further incentive for smokers to think again before reaching for their cigarette packets.

“There is evidence that they can help more smokers quit and prevent others from starting in the first place. Our ‘fatty cigarette’ campaign clearly demonstrated the value of hard hitting imagery.”

If you want to give up smoking, help and information is available at

What you think about using graphic images to encourage people to quit smoking? Post a comment on the blog.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Heart of the matter - our annual report

Meet Pat McKenna - a heart attack survivor from Scotland who attributes her survival to cardiac rehabilitation.

Pat was a non-smoker and a hillwalker with normal blood pressure and cholesterol but in 1999 she had a heart attack.

After having a double bypass operation she began walking on the hills again with the support of a cardiac rehab team.

She now mentors others and supports our campaign for high quality cardiac rehab treatment.

Pat's inspirational story is one of dozens in our 2008 Annual Report.

The report tells you what we've been up to during the year, including the latest on our life saving research, details on how we raise our money, our successful health education campaigns and infomation on the work of our BHF nurses.

Dive into our interactive Annual Report website at to find out more.

Let us know what you think by posting a comment on the blog.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Mogwai Martin's pacemaker pain

Our best wishes go out to Martin McCulloch (pictured right), the drummer with Scottish rock favourites Mogwai.

Martin, who is well known to the BHF after auctioning two of his old pacemakers to raise money for us, has been forced to leave the band's US tour early after having problems with his new one.

Mogwai have been forced to cut the tour short as Martin flies back from New York, where the band had been performing, to his home in Scotland to see his cardiologist and have an immediate check-up.

The auctions of his previous pacemakers to the band's fans via eBay have raised hundreds of pounds to help our lifesaving work.

On Mogwai's website, Martin says: "I was taken into hospital last night almost immediately after the show. I've been having some problems with my pacemaker for the duration of the tour and it unfortunately culminated in me being sent to the emergency room.

"The doctors there initially thought i would have to have corrective surgery at a larger hospital nearer New York City, but i have been given the all clear to travel home on the understanding that i go straight to my cardiologist on arrival back in Scotland.

"To be honest, i'm really bummed about having to go home and feel for the folk who had bought tickets for our upcoming shows.

"But i can honestly say it would be almost impossible for me to carry on at this point as my pacemaker has broken skin and the surrounding area has become infected."

Good luck Martin, and we hope you get better soon!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Date announced for 2009 BHF London to Brighton Bike Ride

We thought you'd like to know that we've just announced the date for our 2009 BHF London to Brighton Bike Ride. It's Sunday 21 June.

We'll be publishing further details of how to register to enter the Ride - which is the largest charity cycle event of its kind in Europe - from mid-December this year.

The 54-mile event is our biggest fundraising event, raising over £3.9m in 2007. This year we're hoping the Ride will raise even more to help continue our lifesaving work.

Cyclists really took the event to heart this year, with all places selling out weeks beforehand. And since we became involved in 1980, over £42 million has been raised for us.

You can see photos from this year's Ride and also read comments from those who part. There are also TV news reports of the event on our BHF YouTube Channel

Did you take part in the Ride this year? Would you recommend it to others interested in taking part? Are you already looking forward to it? Let us know by posting your comments below!

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Surf's up for the BHF

News reaches us of an awesome challenge being undertaken to raise money for the BHF.

Three windsurfing brothers, Simon, James and Tim Cox are aiming to windsurf round the Isle of Wight and raise £3,000.

The brothers will surf their way over 160 nautical miles, braving the notorious Solent currents.

You can find out more about the Big Salty Challenge and how donate to Simon, James and Tim's Justgiving sponsorship page on their website Big Salty Challenge.

Good luck lads!

If you want to organise a fundraising event for the BHF, find out how on the Do Your Own Thing page on our website.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Got a story to tell? ....

....then we want to hear from you!

Whether you have experienced a heart condition yourself, or been affected by the experiences of a close friend or family member, your story could help change and save lives.

At the moment we're keen to hear from women, men under 50 and young people all of South Asian or African origin with experience of heart disease.

To share your story, you can complete an online form on our main website or email for more info.

Friday, 19 September 2008

The day Elie's heart stopped

Elie Levy (pictured right) says he literally owes his life to a British Heart Foundation campaign on how to spot heart attack symptoms.

Elie experienced only mild symptoms, and initially he wasn't worried. Little did he know that within minutes his heart would stop while he was in the ambulance on the way to hospital.

Luckily, Elie's wife Karen had realised the seriousness of what could be happening to her husband, and knew that she had to call 999 immediately.

Elie's story is a stark reminder of why you should never delay if you experience any of the symptoms, and he recounts it in an excellent interview on the New You web TV channel.
You can also brush up on the symptoms on our special heart attack campaign website.

Have you had experience of a heart attack? Tell us your story by posting a comment below.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

How to take control of your diabetes ‘destiny’

According to a new BHF study, women at high risk of diabetes can reduce their body’s insensitivity to insulin – which affects blood sugar control – by exercising.

Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease.

People with a family history of diabetes are predisposed to the condition and tend to have greater ‘resistance’ to insulin.

However, after just seven weeks of an exercise programme, insulin resistance had reduced by nearly a quarter in women whose family history put them at a high risk of type 2 diabetes.

Rose Traynor from Glasgow, a social worker with South Lanarkshire Council, took part in the study. Her mother has diabetes. Her father, now deceased, was also diabetic.

Rose says: "Before taking part in the study I wasn’t aware of the effect exercise had on my likelihood of getting diabetes and it wasn’t something that I had really given much thought to.

"I now realise that I can be proactive in minimising the risk of this simply by increasing the amount of exercise I do. The exercise regime really gave me the kick start I needed to get exercising properly. It has now become just a part of everyday life for me."

Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the BHF, commented: "I hope the findings will encourage people to get active for their health."

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Our film about tackling high cholesterol

Cholesterol is one of the most searched for and asked after topics on the BHF website and our Heart HelpLine - 08450 80 70 80.

Understanding what causes high cholesterol, and what steps you can take to lower it, can help protect you against heart disease.

One of our latest DVDs, Risking It, features a video all about how to tackle a high cholesterol level if you have been identified as having one by your GP.

We believe it should really help, so we've made it available for you to watch below...

This video is just one of more than 50 featured on our BHF YouTube channel, which includes videos covering all major heart health issues and our work.

If you'd like to comment on this video please feel free to leave a post below. We'd love to hear from you...

Friday, 12 September 2008

Why not become a Fan of the BHF?

Have you checked in to our BHF Facebook page (pictured right) yet?
We're beginning to build up a bit of a head of steam, about to pass 700 fans and with a relatively lively 42 posts on The Wall.

It's great to see and read so many posts from people with a positive experience of the BHF and the vital, pioneering and caring work we carry out.
In one of the latest posts, Joan Kelly from Leeds writes: "It happened to me! In 2002 nothing to indicate anything was wrong, I was hit me...At first i thought i was having some sort of panic attacks, How wrong was i . Keep up your fantastic work BHF...your priceless."

That work would simply not be possible without the enthusiastic support of our thousands of fundraisers who take part in our events, join other events to fundraise for us, or simply organise their own.

Some have posted on The Wall, and it's great to see what they're up to.

So why not join this growing group by becoming a Fan of the BHF and posting your message on The Wall. We look forward to seeing you over there!

Alternatively, you can also post your comments and messages in response to this post below...

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Calling all James Bond fans!

For one night only, we’ve got a licence to thrill, delight and revel in all things 007!

2008 celebrates the centenary of Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels, who died from heart attack in 1964. He was just 56.

As a grand finale to the centenary year, a glamorous, star-studded gala night is being held in aid of the BHF. The event takes place at 7.30pm, Sunday 5th October, at the London Palladium.

Hosted by Joanna Lumley and Stephen Fry, the evening features stars from the worlds of film and theatre, as well some of the biggest names in music performing their favourite Bond themes.

A sneak preview clip from the new James Bond film, A Quantum of Solace, along with other special surprises will ensure that it is an evening not to be missed!

Check out our website for full details of the event.

Buy tickets online from See Tickets or by calling 0844 4124657.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Blogging from the heart

We love the BHF blog, but for many people, blogging is an important way to help them cope with serious illnesses.

An article in the Guardian today suggests that for many sufferers, writing down the experience of an illness is as important as drugs or surgery to the healing process.

Louise Snape, aged 30 from Manchester, was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a potentially fatal heart disease, after giving birth to twin girls who had the condition. Louise says: Writing my blog keeps me sane. I think that without it I’d go mad. I can’t get out much because I’m not strong enough. I can’t even take the girls to the park. Doing this gives me something to focus on.”

As the old saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. Sharing experiences online is no substitute for medicine, but there’s the feelgood factor of possibly helping someone with a similar condition. Blogging also provides a means for other people to express their support.

The Snape twins, Katie and Lauren, are now three years old. Katie has had a heart transplant. Louise and Lauren are being assessed.

Louise continues: “We do get lots of feedback from around all over the world. People who read my blog really care about me and the girls. I can’t put into words what a difference that makes to my life.”

Monday, 8 September 2008

Heart patient Peter's got the X Factor

Congratulations are in order for Peter Lee, who was featured in the ITV show The X Factor at the weekend wearing a lovely bright red British Heart Foundation Heart Runners t-shirt.

Heart patient and BHF fan Peter, 81, was filmed during auditions for the show singing a version of Gene Kelly's Singing In The Rain while playing the spoons. Despite obviously impressing show judge Simon Cowell, he narrowly missed making it thorugh to the final rounds.

Next stop for Peter is helping to promote our new Cardiac Rehab Campaign, launching on 15 September, telling his story as someone who has seen the benefits of receiving rehabilitation after surgery for a heart condition.

If you missed Peter's performance on the X Factor don't fear, you can check it out now below...

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

No evidence to link cholesterol-lowering drugs with cancer

Several major national newspapers today reported claims by some doctors that the drug Inegy used to treat high cholesterol could also cause cancer.

In response, we today issued a statement reporting new data from scientists in Oxford, which showed no evidence for a link between cholesterol-lowering medication and an increased risk of cancer.

Dr Mike Knapton, our Director of Prevention and Care, says: "There is no suggestion that statins increase the risk of cancer.

“The combined evidence of all data on cancer and ezetimibe in combination with a statin shows no increased risk of developing cancer.

“The data from the big trials are encouraging but the evidence is not yet conclusive, because many of the patients studied have been followed-up for a relatively short period of time so far.

“Because one study did show a cancer risk, it is crucial that others continue and are monitored closely to definitively confirm or refute any link.

"People should be reassured that drug regulators will act quickly if robust evidence of risk to patient health appears.

“If you have been prescribed ezetimibe you should continue to take it. If you have concerns about side effects of this or other medication, you should talk to your doctor to weigh up the risks and benefits."

If you have any questions about this issue you can contact our Heart HelpLine either by email here - or on 08450 70 80 70 (lines open 9pm-5pm Monday to Friday).

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Brighton swimmers plunge in to help fight heart disease

The sun was shining all day in Brighton as over 260 people braved the sea to raise money for the BHF and help them fight the UK’s single biggest killer, heart disease.

It was the second year of the BHF’s Brighton Sea Swim and it was certainly successful. The weather was beautiful and the sea looked fairly calm. However, the swimmers faced a challenging one mile swim, as easterly winds and a strong current made it hard work.

It was a great fun day out; but for others it meant a bit more. To Danielle Lade, aged 23, and her family, the BHF is close to their hearts.

Danielle’s grandfather, Chris Lade, who came from Brighton, sadly passed away last year. He’d had a triple heart bypass in 1998 and had become very poorly in recent years. He was a keen swimmer and swam at Hove beach every morning come rain or shine. The family swam in a group of four named 'Grandad Lade’s Happy Days Team', in his memory.

Danielle said: “It was a tough swim, however I really enjoyed it, plus having a day out with the family and remembering Grandad was lovely.”

Regional Event Organiser, Fran Watson said: “We are extremely pleased with the event and would like to thank everyone for taking such a big plunge into cold waters. All money raised will help us continue our fight against heart disease. We are really looking forward to next year!”

Buy pictures of the Brighton Sea Swim.
Find out you can take part in our events

Friday, 29 August 2008

Put Your Heart First This Autumn

Summer maybe coming to an end but that doesn't mean it's time to curl up on the sofa.

This autumn our events team have put together a fantastic programme of walks, bike rides, runs and jogs across the country.

Our Hearts First events include family walks in Windsor Park, rambles across the North Downs and family walks along the Liverpool Canal.

Or why not enjoy one of our exhilarating bike rides? Or if you're really up for a challenge, take part in the Humber Bridge jog.

There's lots to choose from - see our main website events calander for more.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

The UK’s biggest serial killer

Every two minutes someone in the UK has a heart attack, and Liverpool has one of the highest rates of heart disease in England.

In a role inspired by Hercule Poirot, BHF Professor Andrew Newby will investigate the biological suspects behind heart attacks while giving a fascinating insight into his cutting-edge research.

Saturday 6th September 2008
Quaker House
22 School Lane, Liverpool, L1 3BT
Cost: £3.00

This event is part of the BA Festival of Science in Liverpool from 6-11 September.

One of the UK's biggest annual science festivals, the BA Festival attracts the best scientists from home and abroad, who reveal the latest research developments to a general audience.

Places are limited so please book tickets online or by calling 020 7019 4947.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Tell us what you think (the good, the bad and the ugly!)

Are we getting it right? Where are we going wrong?

Here at the British Heart Foundation we're committed to providing you with the very best communications, services, products and support.

So we've come up with a short survey which is designed to enable you to let us know how you think we're doing - and what you think we're not doing.

We will then take your feedback and use it to look for the areas in which you tell us there is room for improvement.

Thanks for taking the time to complete the questionnaire, we really value your comments and are looking forward to seeing where you think we can get better. To access the survey just click on the link below.

Go to the survey now

Monday, 18 August 2008

Mark's epic bid to beat heart disease

A soldier is following in the famous footsteps of Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen to raise thousands of pounds for the British Heart Foundation.

Mark Langridge (pictured right), who served for ten years with 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment, is aiming to trek across Antartica to the South Pole and back, on his own - and totally unsupported by anyone else - in 80 days or less.

Mark's cold weather experience was gained during several winter tours of Norway on NATO exercises, together with operations in mountainous areas of other countries. He is still serving with the regular Army.

The expedition, whose patron is Prince Charles, is due to start on 1 November 2008, and Mark will also be raising money for Debra, a charity for people with the genetic skin blistering condition Epidermolysis Bullosa, and Cancer Research UK.

To find out more about Mark's epic fundraising effort and how you can support him visit his website here

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Watch Your Own Heart Attack - what you've said...

Comments have been pouring in to us since the screening of our special two-minute Watch Your Own Heart Attack advert (pictured right) on Sunday night TV.

Some of you are criticial of the ad and its style. But many more are extremely positive and have thanked us for spelling out exactly what the symptoms of a heart attack are, and what you should do if you think you are having one.

You can see some of the comments posted to the video which is on our BHF YouTube channel, but here are just a few of the ones we have picked out so far...

"Intense advert. Saw the shorter version on ITV and it felt like David Lynch had taken over Midsomer Murders! Shame about the posters, but lots of nice details in performance and direction. Thanks for posting. Think i'll send it to my dad to scare him into eating fewer sausage rolls!" victorshade4

"Everyone is commenting about the film and the hype and impact (or lack of) that it has had on them. But no one has said or asked "Now I know what a heart attack is what can I do to help a victim until the ambulance arrives?". The answer. Learn to do CPR properly or become a Community First Responder for your local area." devvy1260

"He was scary but i guess thats the point. So are heart attacks. Sent it to my dad and he said it almost gave him a heart attack watching it. Pretty great advert all in all." slleilani

"I honestly feel that people are naive to the symptoms of a heart attack and things like this will save many lives, who cares about hype and costs of a public service film, if it saves One person that it's done it's job." nikgrey

"Wish everyone did know this!!! I act as a First Responder in my local area and have had to try a resus a person that has had 'indigestion' for 2 days... Guess what?? It wasn't indigestion, he didn't know the message and he did die! The more people that get the message the better... No-one minds attending a call to a suspected heart attack / chest pains and finding it isn't. Doubt does kill...Leaflets clearly don't work, this is a good strategy (mass viewing and spreading the word)." AndyWycoll

"This video is ... very negative. It would probably cause more heart attacks then help stop it." djsuperstar717

If you watched our ad and have something you'd like to say about it - good or bad - then please leave a comment below...