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 bhf.org.uk/red

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 bhf.org.uk/greatnorthrun - 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.