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Will legacies help in the fight to save lives

Support Will Power, the British Heart Foundation's campaign to encourage people to consider leaving a legacy in their will.
Support Will Power, the British Heart Foundation's campaign to encourage people to consider leaving a legacy in their will.

As Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation (BHF) I see first-hand the incredible impact gifts left in wills make to the charity.

Research funded by the BHF has helped halve death rates from heart and circulatory diseases over the past 50 years and so much of our work has only been possible thanks to the amazing individuals who have remembered the BHF in their will.

In the past year alone, residents in Yorkshire and the Humber left over £7 million in their wills to the British Heart Foundation to help fund life-saving research into heart and circulatory disease, including heart disease, stroke and vascular dementia. I would personally like to honour these people and express our gratitude for the research breakthroughs and thousands of lives they have helped to save.

But there’s still so much more to do, and there are approximately 580,000 people in Yorkshire and the Humber living with cardiovascular disease right now. A gift of any size, after you’ve provided for your loved ones, will enable the BHF to continue to fund pioneering research to find future cures and treatments.

A recent survey to support ‘Will Power’, the BHF’s campaign to encourage people to consider leaving a legacy in their will, showed that the British public would like to be remembered for their generosity, kindness and humour over their wealth or professional work achievements. Seven in 10 of those asked said they wished they could do more to help others and a quarter said they wanted their will to improve the lives of others.

I would like to encourage those people to download our free wills guide and I must take the opportunity to thank all of the generous supporters – past, present and future – for their contributions to the BHF. To find out more about leaving a gift in your will and to download a free wills guide, please visit bhf.org.uk/wills.

Simon Gillespie

Chief Executive,

British Heart Foundation