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About Us

Heart Research UK - Helping hearts near you for 50 years

We're your local national charity, founded in 1967 by heart surgeon, David Watson to make surgery safer.  Originally the National Heart Research Fund, we changed our name to Heart Research UK in 2005.  As the second largest heart charity in the UK, we fund pioneering medical research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease as well as helping communities improve their lifestyles with Healthy Heart Grants.  Working with supporters across the UK and companies, some household names, we are a growing charity that works to help people live healthier, happier, longer lives.  

Our history is one of discovery, pioneering medical research and helping hearts, from children with problems from birth to adults who just need help to live a healthy heart lifestyle.  Along the way, we've played a part in many of the major developments that we now take for granted and our work continues.  All this would not be possible without the help of our researchers, community champions and supporters.  It is their hard work and dedication over 50 years that has made Heart Research UK the well-respected, innovative charity it is today.

How we spend your money

In the last 10 years the charity has funded groundbreaking research projects worth £12.6million in hospitals and universities across the UK, helping to develop new treatments and procedures that help heart patients across the country. 

One of our more recent projects was carried out by a team at the University of Cambridge to look into whether a new imaging technique can predict who might be susceptible to a heart attack in the future.

Another exciting recent project has been to develop a toolkit so that youngsters leaving hospital after heart surgery or with a life-long condition know just how active they can be to help improve their health. This Helping Little Hearts project gives youngsters and those who care for them the confidence to be active and play sports like everybody else, knowing they have had professional individual advice tailored to suit them. 

We also fund research projects at the Birmingham Children's Hospital.  One project involved educating and supporting the families of babies having complex heart surgery in the first months of life and tested the feasibility of using surveillance programmes by parents after babies have been discharged home.  These surveillance programmes may save lives by making sure that babies are given appropriate medical care sooner.

Clinicians have also benefitted from our Masterclasses; unique courses with world-renowned experts who share their skills and expertise with surgeons, doctors, nurses and other health professionals so they can use new techniques and treatments to improve outcomes for their own patients at heart centres across the UK.


Helping to prevent heart disease

Coronary heart disease is still the UK's single biggest killer with nearly 70,000 deaths a year, so our work is also trying to prevent people from becoming ill in the first place through our Healthy Heart Grants.  We have provided over £1.7 m in the last 10 years to local healthy lifestyle projects that encourage people in communities around the UK live to healthier lifestyles. 

Our partnerships with companies and businesses across the UK through our Healthy Heart Mark accreditation is helping them to encourage their staff to become more heart-healthy through lifestyle changes like eating a healthier diet, getting more exercise and quitting smoking.

Heart Research UK does not receive any Government funding so relies entirely on donors and people raising money through challenges and events to help us continue our important work. Without you, it would not happen.

We're your local national heart charity. Everything you raise near you will be spent helping hearts near you.