Monday, 30 June 2008

007 joins the fight against heart disease

He came up against many of the world's baddies in his time. But none of them was as formidable as his latest opponent - heart disease.

Now James Bond is taking on Britain's biggest killer as the family of 007 creator and author Ian Fleming, who sadly died of a heart attack in 1964, stages a series of fundraising events in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

The first of these events has just taken place in Kent, where more than £17,000 was raised at a charity golf day and auction at the Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich.

The Ian Fleming Centenary charity event celebrated the author’s life - he would have been 100 this year if he had survived. Ian Fleming played regularly at the Royal St George’s golf course and enjoyed his last game of golf at the club the day before he died, aged 56.

More than 38,000 people die prematurely of heart disease each year in the UK. The Fleming family put the event together to help us in our fight against this devastating disease.

After the day’s play, Ronnie Corbett (pictured above with the Fleming family) hosted a dinner which was attended by Bond Girl Tania Mallett, who played Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger.

The BHF spends over £100 of every minute of every day on vital heart research and they rely totally on donations of time and money to fund their work.

Sara Jane Woods, our Head of Community Fundraising, "We’d like to thank Lucy and Kate Fleming and all the people involved in the Ian Fleming Centenary golf day, who supported the BHF. They play an important role in the battle against heart disease."

What was your favourite James Bond 007 novel or film? Post a comment below and let us know!

Friday, 27 June 2008 wins industry award

We're delighted that our children's Food4Thought campaign - Junkmonkeys.TV - has won the Grand Prix and Charity and Voluntary Sector awards at the NMA Effectiveness Awards 2008.

Our campaign aims to help children make healthy food choices and explains how junk food companies use marketing tricks to make their products more appealing.

The judges loved the virtual cityscape, packed with games and videos.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Reflections of Research winners announced

Judging of the third annual science image competition, Reflections of Research, took place last night in London.

BHF heart scientists from across the UK submitted fascinating and beautiful images to represent their field of research, and six finalists were short-listed.

The winner was Steve Thomas, with his image entitled 'A Platelet is Born', pictured above. Runners up were Maksym Harhun with 'Vital Cells for Circulation' and Anthony Davenport with 'Scanning New Horizons'.

Congratulations to all those on the short list and many thanks to all participants for their continued support.

See more images from the event on the BHF Flickr gallery.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

BHF celebrates the art of science

The judging for our 3rd annual science image competition Reflections of Research takes place tonight.

Reflections of Research is a collection of artistic and unusual research images taken from studies into heart and blood vessels. The event forms part of the fundraising activities for our Help a Heart campaign.

The winner will be announced on the BHF website tomorrow. In the meantime, take a look at the entries on our recent Reflections of Research news release.

Let us know your favourite by posting a comment here.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Take five minutes out with our online games

Online gaming is big news these days. But you don't need to feel guilty about wasting time in front of the computer.

Online games can be a fun way for both adults and kids to put their knowledge to good use and learn new information at the same time.

Our BHF online games cover food, lifestyle, nutrition and exercise.

Snack Attack and the Food4Thought Challenge will get you thinking about which foods are best for your heart.

If your footy skills aren't up to much on the pitch then you can sit back and watch the goals roll in with our Freekick Football game.

There are plenty of heart operation games if you've always fancied yourself as having a bit of medical flair.

And if you're trying to give up smoking then the Smoking Tetris game could be just the little bit of extra motivation you need.

There's always time, of course, for a quick game of Escape the Office before you actually do!

Got a high score? Challenge someone to beat your score by posting a comment below!

Monday, 23 June 2008

Actress Imelda talks about heart disease and her family

Imelda Staunton is supporting our Help a Heart campaign after the sudden death of her mother three years ago.

In an interview with the Times the actress reveals that both her parents suffered from heart disease.

As a result Imelda says she has regular blood sugar and cholesterol checks and listens carefully to her body.

As part of her work promoting Help a Heart, Imelda recently met two-year-old Cordelia, (pictured) who was born with a heart defect but as a result of life saving surgery is now a happy, healthy toddler.

If you'd like to join Imedla in supporting our life saving research, please go to our campaign website for more information.

Read Imelda's interview in full

Read Cordelia's story

Friday, 20 June 2008

And just in case you missed this...

There were some great TV news pieces about our 2008 London to Brighton Bike Ride last weekend.

One of them was on BBC Breakfast News early on Sunday morning, but if you were taking part in - or making your way to - the Ride itself you will almost certainly have missed it.

Anyway, those very kind folk at the BBC and ITV have just given us permission to host the clips on our BHF YouTube video channel, so if you haven't seen them yet, here they are. First up, BBC Breakfast News...

And here's the ITV London Tonight news report...

Reminder - you can also see our gallery of 150 great photos taken at the Ride

And once again, if you took part in the London to Brighton Ride please let us know how you got on by posting a comment below.

Thanks very much to everyone who took part, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Enjoyed London to Brighton? Cyclists wanted for Vietnam to Cambodia

We're sure most of you have now fully recovered from the London to Brighton Bike Ride and are thinking about the next big challenge.

Good news. Places are still available for our Vietnam to Cambodia Bike Ride in November. This spectacular ride involves peddling from Ho Chi Minh City to the Cambodian border, along the banks of the Mekong River to the ancient temples of Angkor Wat.

Find out how you can enter by going to the Overseas events section our main website.

Once again, if you took part in the London to Brighton Ride please let us know how you got on by posting a comment below. Thanks very much to everyone who took part, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

London to Brighton Bike Ride - Individual rider photos now available!

We hope that the aches and pains of all our London to Brighton Bike Ride 2008 participants are now easing away, and being replaced by lots of happy memories of the big day!

It certainly seems that way judging by the comments being posted to yesterday's entry.

We'd also like to let you know that individual photos of riders are now available to purchase from our event partner Action Photos.

There is a cost for the photos, but this is all detailed on the website. It will take a few days to get them all on there - so if you can’t find yourself please try again later as your photo may not be up there yet.

Just select 'United Kingdom' and 'London to Brighton Bike Ride 2008' from the drop downs, and then enter your official BHF race number to find whether your photo was taken at the event.

You can also take a look at 150 general shots from the day on our online photo gallery

Once again, if you took part in the Ride please let us know how you got on by posting a comment below. Thanks very much to everyone who took part, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Well done and thanks to all our London to Brighton riders

A huge well done and thank you goes out to all of our 27,000 cyclists who took part in yesterday's London to Brighton Bike Ride!

You can see photos from the Ride in our online gallery

Riders from all over the UK turned out to cycle from the capital to the coast to raise funds for us in the largest charity cycle event of its kind in Europe.

The 54-mile event is our biggest fundraising event, raising over £3.9m in 2007. This year we hope 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 ago. And since we became involved in 1980, over £42 million has been raised for us.

Julie Sorrell, our Head of Events, said: “The London to Brighton Bike Ride is a major fundraising event for us, and thanks must go to all the Riders and sponsors for their support.

"The funds raised from this year's Ride will make a huge difference to so many people’s lives and will help us continue our lifesaving work.”

You can see photos from the Ride in our online gallery

Did you take part in the Ride? If so, please let us know how you got on by posting a comment below. Once again, thanks very much to everyone who took part, we really look forward to hearing from you!

London to Brighton 2008 - a view from the saddle

Our very own Amy Burns, just one of the 27,000 participants in this year's London to Brighton Bike Ride, reports from the event...

You can see photos from the Ride in our online gallery

"After a slightly anxious night’s sleep thinking of the 55 miles I was due to ride the following day, I woke up very early on Sunday to bright sunshine, feeling pretty excited about taking part in the ride with my good friend Kat (that's her on the right in this photo).

"Arriving to a sea of people all 'gearing up' (!!) for the ride only heightened this excitement, while meeting up with Kat and seeing each other in padded cycling shorts proved to be highly amusing to us both.

"Waiting at the starting line, we weren’t entirely convinced when the PA announced it was 'all down hill to Brighton' at least he had a positive outlook … and we got away to a very smooth start with a clear road ahead - so far so good.

"Riding through London with Indiana Jones on our left and the Incredible Hulk on our right proved to be very exciting for the local kids who had woken up early for the event and were waving and clapping from their bedroom windows still in pyjamas.

"The first ten miles saw London thinning out and the greenery of Sussex begin - bus fumes were replaced by country smells, and Kat and I were both amazed by the ease and self sufficiently of leaving London on two wheels - we were having a great time!

"Wanting to pace ourselves, we decided to break after 12 miles at one of the many official BHF stops along the way- bike repair services, hot bacon rolls and toilets were just some of the very welcome services on offer at this village hall and there was a fantastic community feel.

"Scouts, families and councils had all pulled together to put on a really brilliant service for the riders and we were all made to feel enormously welcome already being greeted by 'well dones' and 'congratulations'.

"Riding through more villages we realised this was a quintessentially English event - more and more families were out to watch, cheer and clap and kids had set up trestle tables with drinks and sweets for the riders. One village we passed through even had a brass band, bunting and cake stalls.

"We decided to plough on until the 35 mile mark for our next break. By this point the padded cycling shorts had become a definite necessity and didn’t seem so amusing after all!

"Passing riders with images of their loved ones on their back really bought home why we were all here and made us more determined to not only enjoy this ride, but come back next year and raise even more for the BHF.

"After a well deserved bacon sarnie and some lucozade we got back on the road - by this point rumours were a rife - almost everyone we passed had a different theory on how long we had to go and was the beacon really impossible to bike up!?

"I think it was the idea of a nice cool beer that kept us both going, but at around 4pm, after having survived 'the beacon' (I even rode half of it!) we crossed the finishing line high on adrenalin and very proud of ourselves.

"It really was a fantastic day and Kat and I were both so pleased we did it. Everyone we met felt the same and all agreed the event was organised really well. I would definitely recommend the padded cycling shorts but other than feeling tired the next day, my body felt fine- I even biked into work today!"

You can see photos from the Ride in our online gallery

Did you take part in the Ride? If so, please let us know how you got on by posting a comment below. Once again, thanks very much to everyone who took part and we look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, 13 June 2008

Cordelia's starring role

The face of our 2008 Help a Heart Campaign, two-year-old Cordelia, has featured in a TV news programme on BBC South East.

The clip features interviews with Cordelia's mum Maggie and Michael Rigby, the surgeon who carried out the seven-hour heart operation on Cordelia just ten days after she was born with a congenital heart condition.

You can help save children like Cordelia by getting involved or donating to our Help a Heart Campaign.

If you have experience of living with a heart condition - whether yourself, or as a parent, partner, relative or friend - you can let us know your story by posting in the comments below.

They heard it on the radio...

BHF team member, Andrew Johnson, has been on the road this month as part of the first ever BHF Live! roadshow.

This week BHF Live! has been at The Co-operative in Crook, from where he posts this entry:

"Many people have been coming along after hearing about us on Durham FM.

As a result the free heart health checks have been getting booked up pretty quickly each day.

Our information stand in the store has also been helping people choose healthier choices with some shoppers coming to the stand after to show us the ‘more healthier’ contents of their shopping bags…..

Next stop ASDA in Hartlepool. See you there!"

See the BHF Live! schedule for full details.

Have you visited the BHF Live! roadshow? Post a comment below and let us know your thoughts about it

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Shiny staff get set to cycle

Good luck to all 27,000 cyclists who are this week getting ready to take part in our forthcoming 2008 London to Brighton Bike Ride, the UK's largest charity cycling event.

Two of those joining the scenic ride from capital to coast will be Kathryn Stewart and Daniel Sung (pictured right) who work for Shiny Media, a leading blog publisher with a network of 40 blogs with around 3.5 million visitors per month.

Among the Shiny stable are widely-read blogs such as TechDigest, ShinyShiny, Shoewawa, Catwalk Queen, The BagLady, Bridalwave and CorrieBlog.

Together with their fellow L2B participants, Kathryn, the Shiny Media operations manager, and Daniel, a Tech Digest writer, will be hoping that the recent hot weather is a bit kinder to them on Ride day itself as they tackle the 54-mile route.

Since 1980, when we first became involved with London to Brighton, more than 650,000 riders have taken part in the event and more than £40 million has been raised to help fund our pioneering research, patient care and vital heart health information.

We'll be featuring more L2B Bike Riders on the blog this week, but if you want to sponsor Kathryn, Daniel or any other of the participants online you can do so at

And if you're also getting ready to take part in this year's Ride, or have taken part in a previous year's event, then tell us all about your experiences by posting a comment on this post.

Happy pedalling!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Fat Bloke Slims!

Actor Bruce Byron from TV's The Bill writes entertainingly about his battle to beat the bulge, and how the British Heart Foundation's heart health checks helped him come to terms with his problems.

In his latest column in the Daily Mail, Bruce says of us: "These guys (the BHF) are great. You can rock up to their centres (there are a handful of these on the move around the country - see their website) and, free of charge, get your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels tested. (You can, of course, also ask your GP for these tests).

"This is a great, if scary, way to start your push for a healthier you. After the tests are complete, the BHF nurse will give you a breakdown of what needs your immediate attention and how to go about it."

Thanks Bruce! Find out more about where you can get a free BHF heart health check around the UK

And to read more of Bruce's column 'Fat Bloke Slims' visit the Daily Mail site

Are you also having issues with trying to lose weight, like Bruce? Leave us a comment below to let us know what you are facing and going through right now?

Monday, 9 June 2008

Finger on the pulse

It's Arrhythmia Awareness Week this week and that's important because arrhythmias or abnormal heart rhythms affect more than 1 million people in the UK.

Did you know that arrhythmias are one of the top ten reasons for hospital admissions? You're probably surprised. But we're not, which is why we fund and support 43 BHF arrhythmia specialist nurses who aim to improve care for patients and their families with heart rhythm disorders.

So how do you know if you have an arrhythmia? Well some common arrhythmias can cause dizzyness, fainting or tiredness. But some arrhythmias cause no symptoms at all.
Atrial Fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and can have no symptoms but can be detected by performing a regular pulse check.

Tell us if you've suffered from a cardiac arrhythmia and if you think there's a need for better awareness? Post a comment today.

Friday, 6 June 2008

BHF goes Live!

BHF team member, Andrew Johnson, has hit the road as part of the first ever BHF Live! roadshow.

First stop was the Co-Operative supermarket in Shildon, from where Andrew reports:

"Our new heart health roadshow has stopped in Shildon, County Durham, armed with a wealth of heart health information, support and advice for the community.

"Mayor of Shildon, councillor Ann Hammond, was the first in line for her free heart health check with a BHF nurse. She wasn't alone, with the free heart health checks and health resource materials going down a storm!"

If you are in the Shildon area then you can catch the BHF Live! roadshow bus at the Co-Operative supermarket until saturday 7 June.

After which, we'll be hitting the road to visit other stores in the area. See the BHF Live! schedule for full details.

Have you visited the BHF Live! roadshow? Post a comment below and let us know your thoughts about it!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Footballers turn out to Help a Heart

BHF supporters in the West Midlands will once again get together this Saturday for the annual Help a Heart football match.

Players and officials from the West Midlands Christian Football League will turn out at Aldersley Stadium with all proceeds raised going to the charity.

Event organiser Thomas Baugh commented, “This is the third year we’ve played the match and it’s brilliant that everyone comes down to support the BHF.”

“It’s always a great match and this year we should raise more money than ever after getting major sponsorship from a sports injury website.”

Are you organising a fundraising event for us? If so post a comment on this blog or and we’ll try to promote it here!

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Gemma Atkinson opens our Canary Wharf Jog

Good luck to all our Hearts First runners at today's Canary Wharf Jog!

They'll be joined by actress and long term BHF supporter, Gemma Atkinson, who will open the event.

The jog takes place in Canary Wharf's Canada Square Park. All levels of amateur running are catered for, with participants able to choose to run between 1-8 laps of the 1.25km circuit. Registration opens at 16.00 and thee jog itself kicks of at 18.30. It's free to enter and you can still register on the day.

Post a comment on this blog if you want to wish your friends or family luck if they are running in the event - or if you are taking part then let us know how you got on and what time you managed!

For further information on the Canary Wharf jog and our other events see our Events web page.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Father's Day ideas with the BHF

If you're stuck for ideas this Father's Day (15th June) then take a look at the range of Father's Day gifts in the BHF online shop.

Top picks include travel and computer accessories. Or take dad back through the years with a book of the classic old bangers he'd probably rather forget owning!

With prices from only £3.99, even young kids will be able to pick something for their dad. And all purchases will help raise funds for our important work to beat heart disease.

If dad doesn't want a gift then why not treat him to a delicious heart healthy meal or make a donation on his behalf?

Does your dad have a special heart health story? If so, then let us know and he may be featured in our blog during the run up to Father's Day.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Volunteers are celebrated with National Week

Our BHF volunteers are highly valued members of our team and play a vital role in our fundraising and awareness work.

And what better week to recognise their hard work and commend them for it than this week - National Volunteers' Week (1-7 June).

Volunteers' Week is the UK's annual celebration of the work volunteers do. During the Week events are held across the country to recognise, reward and recruit volunteers.

And, as part of Volunteers' Week, a cross-party report is calling for more people to be allowed flexibility when taking time off work or academic studies to participate in volunteer work.

Do you think that workplaces should be more flexible to accommodate volunteers? Or are you a BHF volunteer who'd like to share your story about what it's like to work as one?

If you've got some spare time and the idea of volunteering appeals, then why not find out more about how you can help.