Our Supporters: 'At the heart of everything we do'

5 December 2016        

Category: About BHF

Simon Gillespie

Our Chief Executive, Simon Gillespie, outlines our commitment to contacting you in ways you are comfortable with and have consented to, following recent media reports. 

You may have seen coverage in the media about how the British Heart Foundation use supporter data. 

As a valued supporter, you are at the heart of everything we do at the British Heart Foundation. Thanks to your support, our research has helped to halve the death rate from heart and circulatory disease in the UK over the last 50 years.

I therefore want to reassure you that we insist on the highest possible standards in keeping your data safe. Giving to the British Heart Foundation should be a positive experience so please be assured that:

  • Your data is safe with us. We do not share your details with anyone else.
  • It is easy for you to opt out from future communications; you just need to tell us.
  • We adhere to all fundraising and data protection legislation.

Our response

In response to media reports about the ICO's action against the BHF, I want to make clear that we have always endeavoured to ensure our practices not only follow ICO and Institute of Fundraising guidelines but also constantly evolve and improve to match our supporters’ expectations.

In 2015, before the ICO contacted us, we made the information we give supporters when asking for their consent to contact them even clearer and have stopped all of the practices described by the ICO. In fact, as recently as June this year the Information Commissioner wasn't able to suggest any improvements for the BHF's information handling practices and was clear that the BHF was not a Data Controller of concern to them.

We are therefore extremely disappointed in the action the ICO has taken. We believe that key aspects of the decision and findings are wrong, disproportionate and inconsistent. Our trustees now owe it to our supporters and the seven million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory disease to give close consideration to appealing the ICO’s decision. 

If you want to find out more about our response, please read my full statement to today’s media reports. 

Our promise to you

We value your opinion so if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our supporter services team

They would also be glad to help if you would like to change your communication preferences or to opt out of receiving communications from us in the future. If you are unsure of our approach to contacting you, our Supporter Promise explains our commitment to be honest and transparent, and only contact you in ways you have consented to. 

Thank you for your support.  It’s been the driving force behind medical breakthroughs that are today saving and improving the lives of heart patients. 

Our Supporter Promise