Celebrating International Women's Day

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Heart Research UK celebrate International Women's Day
Dr Nicolette Bishop
Professor Julia Gorelik
Professor Annette Graham and Yvonne Dempsie
Sarah Walton
Emily Plummer
Ethel Hayeems
Lynne Bowen Jones
Catherine Fowler and family
Barbara Harpham

It’s International Women’s Day and at Heart Research UK, we’re very lucky to support so many inspirational women and to be supported by so many too. Here are just some who inspire us:

We have many female research scientists who are leading or working on our ground-breaking medical research projects. Dr Nicolette Bishop, at Loughborough University, is looking at which type of exercise programme is most suitable for people who have had a kidney transplant, whilst Professor Julia Gorelik at Imperial College London is looking at whether the drug UDCA could be a new antifibrotic therapy for chronic heart failure.

Then there’s Professor Amrita Ahluwalia at the William Harvey Research Institute in London who’s testing whether a chemical found in beetroot could help prevent kidney damage in people undergoing angiography, and Professor Annette Graham and Yvonne Dempsie of Glasgow Caledonian University, who is researching whether ‘small RNA’ molecules can prevent build-up of fats in arteries.

Research works. In order to carry on funding research by brilliant women we need fundraisers who are just as inspirational. Thankfully, we’ve got not just one wonder woman but hundreds.

Natalie Hogg completed her first ‘My Run, My Way’ in 2016, where anyone can run any distance, anytime, anywhere, in memory of her dad. She’s enjoyed it so much, she’s running again this year.

Sarah Walton and Emily Plummer are also running champions to us. Sarah’s not only completed the Simplyhealth Great North Run and the Virgin Money London Marathon, but she’s planning to run a 50 mile ultra-marathon in October. Meanwhile Emily has also run the marathon, 200 miles from Glastonbury to Canterbury in just five days, ran 145 miles from Birmingham to London, and also ran 105 miles around the Lake District

Local women in Cornwall recently held a yoga festival to raise money, and currently Tina Best is running 23km in 23 days with friends and family in memory of her partner, Justine.

We’re lucky to have such fantastic support with our other campaigns too. Vikki Renoldi-King drove our Sing for your Heart campaign in her home-county of Essex, and together with her sister-in-law Nikki, plans to trek the Great Wall of China in October.


  • Kerry Morrison was awarded our fundraising champion after raising £3000, and Ethel Hayeems our most valued volunteer – she’s been putting up with us for 13 years!
  • Victoria Grainger achieved 50 challenges last year in honour of our 50th anniversary. This included two half marathons, walking across the O2 roof, fire-walking and even holding a tarantula – quite an achievement considering spiders terrify her!
  • Lynne Bowen Jones completed her ‘Swim the Channel’ challenge – where you can swim the length of the Channel in your own local pool (it’s much warmer that way!)
  • And the Women’s Institute have been supporting our Treasure Your Heart campaign for 15 years

Our ambassadors are just as inspirational. Catherine Fowler has tirelessly campaigned for further awareness of the rare condition ‘aortic dissection’, and TV chef Sally Bee regularly campaigns for healthy lifestyle and eating.

And lastly our inspirational Chief Executive Barbara Harpham. Over the years Barbara has been the driving force of this charity - she’s helped to introduce new grants specific to Scotland and Northern Ireland, opened a Midlands office to help support researchers and community projects in the region and also worked tirelessly to help children and parents learn more about how to exercise safely following treatment for a heart condition. And if you followed our Sing for your Heart campaign, you'll know she’s not a bad singer either!

To our all these wonder women and so many more we could have mentioned, we say thank you for supporting us and in turn, allowing us to support you.