We have today set out proposals to protect our life saving work in response to a devastating fall in income caused by the coronavirus crisis.
A new structure will be created to draw on our 60 years of expertise in funding ground breaking research that saves and improves lives.
Our marketing and fundraising activities will also be unified behind a strategy to build long-term relationships with people affected by heart and circulatory diseases to raise funds and give people the vital support they need.
The changes will see our Medical and Healthcare Innovation directorates merge into a single team to be led by Medical Director, Professor Sir Nilesh Samani. The team will oversee our world leading research programme and develop life changing advocacy campaigns and support services for people with heart and circulatory diseases.
We will also create a team, led by a new Executive Director, that will build on work already underway to integrate our fundraising, engagement and marketing activities. The move builds on our strategy to 2030 and will put patients at the heart of our work to inspire support for our life saving research.
Responding to a 50% fall in our income
These strategic decisions have been shared with our colleagues in advance of a collective consultation on how they, and other proposals, will be implemented. Around 300 roles are expected to be lost but it is hoped that up to half of this number will be met by current vacancies.
Our net income is likely to fall by 50 per cent this financial year due to the temporary closure of our shops and cancellation of many of our fundraising events. We anticipate having to cut our budget for new research by around £50 million this year.
Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: The coronavirus crisis is the biggest challenge we’ve faced in our 60-year history, and our dedicated teams have left no stone unturned in trying to fight it. But we need to take bold steps to protect our life saving work.
“Such a challenge brings into sharp focus the core of who we are as an organisation. The changes we’re making will accelerate work that’s already underway and will protect and prioritise our ability to fund world-leading cardiovascular research.
“The action we’re taking should give confidence to our colleagues, supporters and beneficiaries that we will maximise every aspect of what we do in pursuit of our mission to save and improve lives, and that we will thrive as the nation’s heart charity despite the challenges ahead.
“We know this announcement comes at a difficult time for our talented BHF team. Whilst the decisions affecting my Executive Team have been taken, the implications for the rest of the organisation and the two new Directorates are still to be agreed and initial proposals for how this might look will form part of the collective consultation.”
Changes to our executive team
We will move from eight directorates to six, and three of our Executive Directors – Amanda Bringans, Carolan Davidge and Jacob West – have decided to leave to pursue new opportunities.
Dr Griffiths added: “The BHF’s continued reputation as one of the UK’s best-loved charities with the needs of patients at its core is testament to the transformational leadership that Amanda, Carolan and Jacob have shown.
“Carolan has put life saving research at the heart of the BHF brand, while Amanda has navigated a tough financial climate to come up with some of the sector’s most innovative fundraising products. Jacob has put patient voices at the heart of our decision making and ensured their needs don’t go unheard by the Government and NHS.
“Their leadership, and the incredible teams they’ve built, means we take on the challenges ahead from a position of strength. On behalf of everyone connected to the BHF, and the seven million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases, I’d like to thank Amanda, Carolan and Jacob for their immense contribution and the legacy they will leave.”
Amanda Bringans joined us as Fundraising Director in 2015 and has overseen a 20 per cent growth in our annual fundraised income. She has led a full review of our fundraising strategy, set up sector-leading planning, performance and innovation teams, and developed our philanthropy and corporate partnership capabilities. Amanda will leave her role at the end of October.
Amanda said: “My five years at the BHF have been amongst my most treasured times in the sector. The merger of the fundraising and marketing teams is the natural next step for the BHF and I’m fully supportive of the change. The drive, energy, sense of fun and determination of the fundraising team is something I will always remember and miss so much, and I feel confident that the BHF will go from strength to strength.”
Carolan Davidge joined us in 2014, following 10 years at Cancer Research UK. In her time here, Carolan has re-focused our marketing strategy and launched our award-winning brand proposition, ‘Beat Heartbreak Forever’. Carolan will oversee the merger of the fundraising and marketing directorates before leaving in March 2021 to pursue a portfolio career as a leadership coach and NHS non-executive director.
Carolan said: “The BHF has been my family’s charity for over 30 years and I feel truly privileged to have worked here for the last six as an executive director. Our success is driven by our amazing people, and their passion and dedication has inspired me every day. I wholeheartedly support the merger of BHF’s fundraising and marketing directorates, which will build on the excellent work we’ve done to make our life saving research central to our brand promise.”
Jacob West joined us as Director of Healthcare Innovation in 2018. Under his leadership, our focus on supporting patients has increased, we have ensured that tackling heart and circulatory diseases is central to the NHS’s long-term plan, and he has overseen several award-winning advocacy campaigns on areas such as air pollution and organ donation. Jacob will stay until the end of the year to help shape the new integrated directorate before leaving to pursue new opportunities in the wider health sector.
Jacob said: “I’ve loved my time at the BHF. It’s an amazing cause and a brilliant team. I’m hugely proud of what we’ve achieved for people affected by heart and circulatory disease. But now is the right time for me to explore new challenges that build on my wider government and healthcare experience in the UK and overseas. I’ve every confidence the BHF will continue to thrive, even as it navigates the immense challenges that all charities are currently facing.”