Wednesday, 24 November 2010
We’ve been campaigning for better cardiac rehab services in Wales. We recently held a campaigning workshop to train up patients, carers and supporters to become heart advocates for us – amplifying our campaigning work at a local level. If you’re interested in receiving training let us know.
Johanna asks “How has our work changed since the new government came in? Is it different with Con-Dems?”
Our experience with the new government is that they are more than happy to welcome us round the table.
We are fiercely independent – so will be unafraid to take up issues if we need to.
Women are geared up for breast checks and smear test are and not heart health checks.
We asked women across the country about the laughter and angina monologues (about 150 of them) just about every member of the focus group was supportive of Angina Monologues and the strap line that we want to beat “heart disease one laugh at a time”.
Eating junk food all the time puts families on the road to obesity and heart disease, so BHF has activity in every field we can think of to help people get fitter and choose fab fresh food over fatty fry ups!
We campaign in schools, promote healthy eating through leaflets and on our website – we campaign for better food labelling so people can be informed about what’s in their shopping trolleys and we fund vital research into obesity issues.
Check out our iphone app!
We have information resources about congenital conditions – available from our website. We fund specialist nurses that support children with heart defects and their parents in hospital, and nurses to support ‘grown-ups’ that were born with heart problems.
We also run Meet@Teen Heart – a programme for teenagers with congenital heart disease. This includes workshops and awaydays to help them build their confidence and meet others in the same situation. There’s a special website www.yheart.net/meet
And of course our heart helpline is available on 0300 330 3311 9am-5pm weekdays for anyone with questions about heart health.
In the ‘back room’ we fund lots of research to understand how and why heart defects develop, and it’s partly the work of BHF-funded researchers that has lead to the incredible improvements in survival for babies born with congenital heart disease.
The evidence on smoking is clear. It’s estimated that nearly a third of our heart attacks are caused by smoking. It’s a killer habit and we make no bones about saying it loud and clear.
The situation with alcohol is more layered. For example, one or two drinks a day does not increase your risk of heart and circulatory disease. Excessive or binge drinking is bad for your health, and that’s why we’ve taken part in campaigns to encourage drinkers to do so in moderation.
Yes! BHF is a team player and we’re members of some highly effective coalitions across the health spectrum.
We’re working with nine other charities (including Macmillan and Age UK) on an initiative to help the NHS in its drive to deliver better quality care.
BHF is a founder member of a group called the CVC – a coalition of 40 plus heart charities and organisations with an interest in heart health.
Recently we worked closely with Diabetes UK and Cancer Research UK on a campaign to raise awareness of the heart dangers of “spare tyres” or “muffin tops”.
Check out the active fat website.
@cwlboy Are you finding it more difficult to get your campaigners noticed by the new government at this current time of cut backs?
It’s important because the BHF campaigns can make a real difference to people lives.
For instance, when it became clear to us, some years ago, that too many people who needed Cardiac Rehabilitation after heart attacks or some surgical procedures were missing out on rehabilitation, BHF stepped in and started campaigning for better, more accessible Cardiac Rehab provision.
We aren’t there yet – but more and more people are getting help thanks to the hard work and support of the medical professors and our campaigners.
Find out more about our latest guide for patients here.
From the blog we were asked "I thought all of your fundraising went to support scientists. How much is spent on campaigns?
A campaign like our current push to ban cigarette vending machines, which aims to prevent 23,000 young people from being able to buy cigarettes unsupervised, has cost £20,000. Legislation was passed earlier this year and we’re hoping the ban will come into force in October 2011.
Check out our annual review for more information on how the money we raise is spent.
Tom Jones asks: What support do you guys get from the government currently? Are you likely to get more support from the new regime
Tom, are you a BHF campaigner? If not, you can sign up here.
Andy Jackson asks: I'm in full support of your campaign to ban vending machines, what ways can we get involved to help?
Betty and Maura will be with us shortly, in the mean time please keep your questions coming in.
You can ask your questions in the following ways:
• Email us your question to firstname.lastname@example.org
• Post it on the BHF Facebook page
• Tweet it with the hashtag #BHFQs.
See you at 4pm!