To mark Valentine’s Day this year the British Heart Foundation (BHF) achieved the Guinness World Records™ title for the longest chain of paper hearts with help from almost 18,000 of our supporters.
Through our network of over 720 charity shops and thousands of supporters, we asked people to write messages of love and support for their loved ones, people battling heart disease or in memory of those they’ve lost.
With the help of volunteers, the charity created a chain of 17,939 hearts, surpassing the previous Guinness World Record of 11,288 hearts, by Moët Hennessy UK. The new record-holding chain measured almost 1.5 miles long, the equivalent to 25 football pitches.
The Guinness World Records title was broken as a mark of solidarity for the 7 million people fighting heart and circulatory disease in the UK on a daily basis, and to raise funds for the BHF’s life saving research.
The title attempt was supported by stars from the world of sport and entertainment, including Ulrika Jonsson, Esther Rantzen, Gaby Roslin and the England Women’s Hockey team, who all wrote personal messages to be included in the chain.
Two such stories featured in the chain were those of Calum Morris, 12, and Gabriela Atkins, 10 (photographed) who were both born with heart conditions and whose families joined the team of volunteers to create the chain to raise awareness of the impact of heart disease.
Simon Gillespie, CEO of the British Heart Foundation, said:
“7 million people in the UK suffer from heart and circulatory disease which accounts for 1 in 4 of all deaths. The British Heart Foundation is committed to funding over half a billion pounds of new research before 2020 to help bring an end to this heartbreak.
“Bringing together so many tender yet powerful messages of love, support and hope through this Guinness World Records title attempt shows that we’re standing united against heart and circulatory disease.”