By Alexandra Pereira
HEART RESEARCH UK, one of the leading heart charities in the UK, has just celebrated 50 years of being a charity.
To celebrate, the charity hosted a Helping Hearts Black Tie Ball on March 4 and held an event on January 31 to celebrate turning 50 at Leeds Civic Hall.
The charity was set up in 1967, by heart surgeon David Watson and was originally called the National Heart Research Fund before changing its name to Heart Research UK in 2005.
Based in Leeds, some of Heart Research UK’s aims are to fund medical research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.
CEO of the charity, Barbra Harper said: “We always try to encourage people as well to live healthy heart lifestyles.
“We do a lot in communities and work in schools to help people live healthier, happier, longer lives, we encourage them to eat healthily, be active and certainly not smoking.”
Mrs Harper said the charity differs from others: “Even though we are a national charity, we have a heart, we do quality work with quality people and we know who we speak to.
“We don’t just take people’s money and we like to be able to spend it on the things that they want it spent on.”
Francine Shilton, who is the head of income generation said: “Coronary heart disease is Britain’s single biggest killer but thanks to our research over the last 50 years, more people are coping with heart disease every day.
“Heart surgery is now one of the safest forms of surgery, thanks to the vision of our founder David Watson, the pioneering, ground breaking work of Heart Research UK and the support of the people across the country, because without their generosity and faith, all of our achievements would not have happened.”
However, the ball is not the only way the charity is celebrating its 50th birthday, with events such as the #50daychallenge, running the Great North Run in aid of Heart Research UK, racing the Great Yorkshire Bike Ride or any other local sporting event for Heart Research UK.
Heart Disease Factfile
–Coronary Heart Disease remains the number 1 killer in the UK
–160,000 people die from heart and circulatory disease.
-73,000 people die from coronary heart disease (CHD)
–40,000 people died from a stroke.
–42,000 people died prematurely from cardiovascular disease (CVD).
–Death rates from CHD are the highest in areas of greatest deprivation.
-Every 7 minutes someone in the UK will have a heart attack.
-Every 12 minutes someone in the UK will have a stroke.
-1.2 million men and 900,000 women are living with chronic angina.
-20,000 new cases of angina and 25,000 new cases of heart failure are diagnosed.
-1 million men and nearly 500,000 women are living with the after effects of a heart attack.
-600,000 men and 600,000 women are living with the after effects of a stroke.
-Over 1.6 million men and over 1 million women are living with CHD.
-800,000 people are living with heart failure.
-Overall CVD is estimated to cost the UK economy 19 billion – 46% direct healthcare costs, 34% productivity losses and 20% to informal care of people with CVD.
For more facts and statistics visit Heart UK