Thursday, 29 July 2010

A special thank you

Leanne Hughes has contacted us to say a massive thank you to her brother Andrew Naylor for completing the London to Brighton Bike Ride.

Three years ago Andrew,32, vowed to do something for the BHF when his nephew (Leanne’s son) Iwan was seriously ill in intensive care. Iwan was born with two congenital heart conditions - tetralogy of fallots and absent pulmonary valve syndrome - and aged just three months old he suffered a stroke.

Fortunately Iwan pulled through and following an operation six months later has gone from strength to strength.

When Andrew, who lives in Birmingham, was given the opportunity to take part in the L2B with his work colleagues at the ISS Group he jumped at the chance of fulfilling the pledge he had made at Iwan’s bedside.

Leanne said: “The whole family is so proud of Andrew for taking part. He has raised more than £450 on Iwan’s behalf which is fantastic. I just want to say thank you so much to Andrew and well done.”

To donate to Andrew please visit:

Monday, 26 July 2010

An letter from Susan Tuffy

Monday 26th July 2010

Dear Editor

I am writing to encourage your readers in Rochdale, Lancashire to be vigilant when making doorstep donations of second-hand goods to their chosen charity because they could be lining the pockets of third party organisations working for commercial gain, not the charity.

The British Heart Foundation has seen a 25% drop in household collections due to this commercial activity and believe it will cost them a staggering £3 million in the next year – money which could be spent in the fight against heart disease.

As a heart patient myself I understand the importance of the BHF’s work. My heart attack came completely out of the blue 6 years ago and it devastated my family. Without the BHF’s fantastic Heart Nurses and their resources, I struggle to see how I could have got my life back on track.

I’d like to highlight to the people in Rochdale, that 100% of the profits made from donations to the BHF stay with the charity because they haven’t formed a partnership with these third party organisations. These healthy profits help them continue their lifesaving work, whereas as little as 5% goes to charities who use a third party to collect on their behalf.

The BHF has launched a new campaign because they believe it’s only right that householders in Rochdale, are given clear information from collectors about where the proceeds of their goods are going so they can make an informed choice.

Best wishes,

Susan Tuffy

You can also get involved by writing a letter to your local paper to raise awareness on the issue, visit the BHF website to find out how you can.

To find out more information or to locate your nearest BHF Shop please call 0844 412 5000 or visit the BHF website.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Andrew Lansley answers BHF question in online Q&A

Today Health Secretary Andrew Lansley took part in a live online Q&A answering questions on the Government’s proposals to reform health services in Britain via Twitter and the Number10 website.

We took this opportunity to ask him the following question:

"Will the Govt put public health at the heart of plans & implement vital tobacco control legislation to protect children?"

This is because it was reported in the media last week that ministers may not implement new laws to ban cigarette vending machines.

We have campaigned hard to get rid of these machines because we know they are an easy source of tobacco for children.

Nearly 40 per cent of adults who smoke, or are ex-smokers, started before they were 16 and we estimate about 23,000 11-15 year olds get hold of cigarettes from vending machines in England and Wales – and another 851 in Northern Ireland.

My final depressing but poignant statistic is that every year in the UK, 114,000 smokers die as a result of smoking, with over 25,000 smoking-related deaths from heart disease.

It’s obvious why it’s so crucial the Government sees through this legislation.

In his response, Andrew Lansley said:

“We need a more effective public health strategy too many things have been heading in the wrong direction, including obesity, alcohol and drug misuse and sexually transmitted infections. As we interfere less in the NHS day by day I want us to be a Government that focuses more on improving our health and wellbeing depends on working across society.

Smoking is still the biggest preventable cause of early deaths. We have had important legislation to ban smoking in public places, further controls especially on under-age tobacco sales. Although smoking has declined from about more than half the population smoking 40 years ago to between a quarter and a fifth now it is stubborning(sic) persistent now.

I think we have got to look to new approaches for public health that are not just about supply but are also about demand. So we need to change people's relationship with tobacco or drugs or alcohol so that they don't need or become dependent on these.

Where people see that the majority of people don't like to be exposed to tobacco smoke, where those who do smoke understand that it is expensive and harmful, our public health strategy to be published later this year will look at how we can increase the effectiveness of tackling these health challenges much more effectively in the future.”

We hope the new coalition Government, with its commitment to public health, implements the vital ban on cigarette vending machines and tobacco advertising at point of sale – to help stop children taking up this deadly habit.

Thank you to everyone who helped us get a response by retweeting our question. We couldn't have got an answer without your help, and a special thank you goes to @HannahT83 on Twitter whose retweet was answered by Andrew Lansley.

If you want to do more, we are asking supporters to email their MP asking them to make sure this law becomes reality.

To find out more about our cigarette vending machine campaign, visit our campaigns section on the BHF website.

By Maura Gillespie, Head of Policy & Advocacy

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Mending Broken Hearts Art Tour

The British Heart Foundation will be celebrating its 50th birthday next year. To mark this occasion, a fantastic array of leading contemporary British artists, including Sir Peter Blake, have created original works of art on the theme of ‘Mending Broken Hearts’.

These artworks have now been produced as limited edition silk-screen prints and the collection goes on a tour of UK galleries, starting in June.

Why not pop along to a gallery near you to see the prints in their full glory? The prints can also be purchased, as a set or individually, from CCA galleries online.

You can find a full list of galleries and dates on our website.