Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Stay safe in the sun

While many of us have been longing for some proper summer weather, it is important to look after yourself when it's hot.

We've put together the latest info for heart patients, vunerable people and the population in general on how to stay cool and safe in the current hot spell sweeping Britain.

You can read all about heatstroke and its implications on our main website

Friday, 26 June 2009

So what exactly is cardiac arrest?

We've expanded our information on cardiac arrest on our website after the death of singer Michael Jackson at the age of 50. He had reportedly suffered one at his home in Los Angeles.

There's often some confusion between cardiac arrest and a heart attack, but they are actually different things.

Cardiac arrest, which is when the heart stops pumping blood around the body because of a disturbance in the normal heart rhythm, can happen without any existing heart condition.

A heart attack can be one of the causes of cardiac arrest, but other causes can include such things as electrocution, bleeding, choking or a drugs overdose.

To find out more about cardiac arrest and heart attack please visit our website

If you would like to post a comment about Michael Jackson or cardiac arrest please do so below...

Monday, 22 June 2009

From capital to coast - beating heart disease together

A huge well done and thank you to the 27,000 cyclists who took part our London to Brighton Bike Ride in great weather yesterday.

Our annual 54-mile ride, Europe's largest charity bike event, on a scenic route through Surrey and Sussex has raised over £46m for our lifesaving work since it started.

Cyclists set off from south London at half-hourly intervals from 6am to 9am and began arriving on Brighton seafront from about 8.30am.

Since 1980, when we first became involved, over 650,000 riders have taken part. Most riders took about six hours to reach the finishing post.

Among those taking part was comedian and author Dave Gorman (pictured right), who completed the route in three hours and 59 minutes.

"I wanted to get under four hours," he said. "I'm really pleased I got up Ditchling Beacon. I'm officially fitter than I was four years ago when I did it last.

"It was brilliant that people came out to cheer. It's a great event to support the BHF."

BHF spokeswoman Tamara Bennett said: "The day has gone really, really well. The weather has been fantastic - dry and sunny but with enough cloud cover to stop people getting too hot."

Did you take part in the Ride, or would you like to pay tribute to those who did? Then please post a comment below...

Sunday, 21 June 2009

London to Brighton Bike Ride 2009 Pics and Messages

Take a look at our live coverage on Twitter and our online photo galleries on Flickr

Some great pics of people like John and Rob, doing London to Brighton for their seventh year - five years dressed as fat ladies!

They're doing it for Dad who was affected by heart disease.

Next year they're thinking about dressing up as married fat ladies!

Tell us your L2B story by posting a comment below...

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Live coverage of London to Brighton 2009

We'll be tweeting the London to Brighton bike ride tomorrow live from the event. But we're not the only ones.

There will be a tweeting mayor - and we notice a few people have already started their coverage including @lazbash, @adec, and more...

If you'll be tweeting please use the hashtag #L2B and post a comment here with your twitter name.

To get the latest follow us on Twitter

Friday, 19 June 2009

Volunteer today!

Jackie Brambles
This month is Volunteering Month at the BHF.

Volunteering is an incredibly rewarding experience – you can end up going to amazing places like Rhys Morgan who is organising a trip to Everest, doing great things for your community, meeting new people and improving your persuasive skills!

Jackie Brambles, host of ITV’s Loose Women, is lending her support to our campaign to get more people involved in volunteering for the BHF.

She says: “Giving a hand to the British Heart Foundation is a great way to support the charity and it can also be incredibly rewarding.

“There are so many ways you can get involved with supporting the lifesaving work of the BHF- from placing collection boxes and volunteering in a BHF Shop to organising your own event, such as a coffee morning. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be able to take pride in the fact you’ve taken time to help the charity's work in saving lives and fighting heart disease.”

You can read more about volunteering for the BHF on our website

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Screening now...

Our new series of six videos called Live With a Healthy Heart, about heart disease and risk factors for people with learning disabilities, is now available on our British Heart Foundation YouTube Channel. Here's the Introduction...

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Out of Order trailer preview

Here's a sneak preview of a trailer for a new BHF campaign video podcast due out later this month...

Find out more about the campaign here

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Pedal power hits Pompey

A record number of cyclists pedalled into action for the Round the Harbours Bike Ride in Portsmouth on Sunday - which meant a lot of valuable and much appreciated fundraising for us.

“It was an absolutely fantastic day," said the event organiser Melanie Blackman.

"The sun was shining - well, for most of the day - the participants 
were wonderful and the staff and volunteers that managed the four checkpoints did an incredible job.

"This was the 13th year for the Round the Harbours Bike Ride and it was a record breaker with over 1,300 fundraising heroes taking part. Now I'm very much looking forward to seeing those lifesaving funds come flooding in!”

BHF rides high thanks to Norwich Bike Ride

A round of applause for everyone who took part in the Norwich Bike Ride; a record 2,500 cyclists got on their bikes for our charity event on Sunday.

With a choice of a 50 or 100 mile course, this wasn't the easiest of challenges - particularly when you add some traditionally dreary British weather into the equation. But our intrepid riders didn't let it put them off - and for their reward, as they broke across the finish line, so did the sunshine!

Now in its tenth year, the course takes the riders through perfect cycling country with quiet roads and picturesque villages, so it's hardly surprising that so many people wanted to take part...

“The atmosphere was incredible," said event organiser Rob Cox. "We had people of all ages taking part from early teens to riders in their seventies. I spoke to a chap of 63 who did the 100 miles and he came over the finish line with a massive grin on his face. Many thanks to everyone involved.”

Monday, 8 June 2009

Glasgow subway a safer place thanks to us

Glasgow’s subway network will be a safer place thanks to an appeal from the British Heart Foundation Scotland.

The Subway operator Strathclyde Partnership for Transport is supporting the Saving Lives in Glasgow Appeal, which aims to raise £100,000 to provide one hundred life-saving defibrillators in key locations across the city.

Used to restart a person's heart when they suffer cardiac arrest, seven of these defibrillators will be placed in six key subway stations and Buchanan bus station - and initially 25 staff will be trained to use them

To support the Appeal visit bhf.org.uk/glasgowappeal or contact Carole Nicol on 0141 954 8542 or by email at nicolc@bhf.org.uk

Friday, 5 June 2009

Britain's top athletes team up for the BHF

After their big win at the 2008 Olympics, the British Yngling team's latest challenge might seem like a drop in the ocean - but it's still one that will make a big impact on home shores...

Gold medalists Sarah Webb, Sarah Ayton and Pippa Wilson - also known as "three blondes in a boat" - are among a team of athletes taking part in a mission to highlight the link between diet, lifestyle, sport and health and raise more than £100,000 to help us beat heart disease together.

For their particular challenge, the trio will be taking to dry land and treking from Land's End to John O'Groats, where they will be stopping off at schools along the route to present a health and fitness roadshow.

Before this particular mission sets off, Webb and fellow sportsperson Nick Dempsey, who came fourth in Beijing after winning bronze at the Athens Olympics, will be getting on their bikes for a 880-mile cycle ride. Starting this weekend, they are expected to pedal roughly 100 miles a day during the trek north from Cornwall to Scotland.

"This is a real challenge and something that I am really enjoying," Webb said. "It is a fantastic opportunity to raise money for a great cause in the British Heart Foundation but also show young people that they really can enjoy getting fit and enjoy sport."

Organised by Be Number 1, a website that helps raise financial support for aspiring British Olympians, Paralympians and world champions, other athletes taking part in the challenge include extreme runner Kevin Carr, 28, from Woolacombe, who is attempting to run a 1,111-mile cross-country route in just 21 days. There's also Jason Gill, who was disabled after falling more than 50ft in a rock-climbing accident in 1997, who will be hand-cycling the route.

Meanwhile, Robin Simpson, a 30-year-old commercial quantity surveyor from Leeds, will be trying to set his 12th endurance world record by cycling from John O'Groats to Land's End and back again. Finally, there's British kite-surfing champion Stephanie Bridge, who will kite-surf the 890 miles to John O'Groats by travelling up the west coast line of Britain this August.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Red Wharf puts our latest Jog into orbit

A sea of red-shirted joggers pounded the pavements of London's Canary Wharf yesterday for the 13th annual British Heart Foundation Canary Wharf Jog.

Crowds gathered as superb dance troupe Ascension Eagles started the entertainment, and celebrity couple Christine and Neil Hamilton joined in a warm-up session led by Reebok staff.

Then, as the Hamilton's cut the start tape and the klaxon sounded, more than 1000 joggers set off around the Wharf to complete up to five laps of the 1km circuit, raising thousands of pounds for to help us beat heart together.

The Jog is facilitated by Canary Wharf Group plc, and is now a major community event for people who live, work and study around east London.

One of last year's top fundraisers, Jacqui Ellis, an executive assistant to Howard Boville and Ben Burgess, was back to raise more money for us in support of her brother-in-law, who had a heart attack at the age of 55.

Jacqui said: “What I think has really worked this year is the fact that there are so many people from the British Heart Foundation, supporting and encouraging everyone as they jog along.

"It really has made a big difference to me. It's very encouraging and we have had some laughs along the way.”

Did you take part in the Jog, or did you turn out to watch? If so, share your experiences by posting a comment below.

And for details of more BHF events this summer go to bhf.org.uk/events

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

This just in...

Here's an excellent new inspirational video of our Heart Runners taking part in the recent BHF Knebworth House Jog 2009 (with a lively and uplifting soundtrack provided for us without charge by Moby) - we hope you enjoy it...

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Pictures tell story of bids to beat heart disease

Our 2009 events season is now well and truly upon us, and already thousands of people have helped raise vital funds to help us beat heart disease together.

We've just posted some new photo galleries of recent events including the Calke Abbey Walk, Hadrian's Wall Hike and the White Peak Challenge Bike Ride (pictured right).

Check them out, together with inspiring photos from lots of other British Heart Foundation events and campaigns, on our online galleries at Flickr

If you want to help beat heart disease together, find out what events we've got coming up by checking out our special events website.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Don't chop tomatoes out of your diet

Here's our line on the new 'tomato pill' - or Ateronon to give it its trade name - which was launched this week in a blaze of newspaper headlines proclaiming its powers to stave off both heart attack and stroke.

We are urging people to take a more cautious approach to the natural supplement, which is not as yet clinically proven but which scientists linked to Cambridge University claim can block so-called "bad" cholesterol from clogging the arteries.

Our Medical Director, Professor Peter Weissberg, says the public will need to exercise caution and patience. And, it seems, the pill is not a substitute for eating real tomatoes, and other fruit and vegetables.

"As always, we caution people to wait for any new drug or modified ‘natural’ product to be clinically proven to offer benefits before taking it. It will take some time, and several clinical trials, to provide such evidence for Ateronon.

"In the meantime, our advice to heart disease patients or those at high risk is to rely on proven medications prescribed by their doctor, and aim to get the benefits of a Mediterranean diet by eating plenty of fresh fruit and veg.

"We need to be clear in this instance, that the British Heart Foundation supported some of the basic science at Cambridge University underpinning the development of this product over a decade ago and, as such, could benefit from its commercialisation."

So don't chop the tomatoes out of your diet just yet would be our advice.

What do you think about the new 'tomato pill'? Let us know by posting a comment below...