We're encouraging the people of Yorkshire to support the Heart of Steel, a new heart sculpture in Sheffield, as latest figures show Yorkshire & Humber has the highest death rates for heart and circulatory diseases in England.
The new figures reveal that age-standardised death rates in Yorkshire and Humber are 10% higher than the English average, with a shocking 13,500 people dying from heart and circulatory conditions including heart disease, stroke and vascular dementia every year.
To raise awareness of the issue, we have unveiled an art sculpture, the Heart of Steel in Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield.
Standing at 2.4 metres high, the Heart of Steel allows the public to become part of history by engraving their name or that of a loved one on the heart for a £20 donation. Donations from the Heart of Steel will go to the BHF to fund lifesaving research, including research carried out in the region.
Yorkshire and Humber has had the highest death rates for heart and circulatory diseases in England since 2011, with the highest death rates in the region occurring in Kingston upon Hull (334 per 100,000), Scarborough (327 per 100,000), Bradford (300 per 100,000 ), Leeds (288 per 100,000) and North East Lincolnshire (285 per 100,000).
Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: “These statistics are a powerful reminder that heart and circulatory disease devastate thousands of families across Yorkshire, and the rest of the UK. Every three minutes someone loses a loved one to heart and circulatory disease in the UK.
"We are proud to be a part of the Heart of Steel and it’s inspiring to know that the money raised from people inscribing the names of their loved ones on the sculpture will help fund research to beat the heartbreak caused by heart and circulatory disease.”
Professor Tim Chico, BHF funded cardiologist at the University of Sheffield, said: "My research looks into how zebrafish could help us repair the heart after damage. Humans can’t regenerate our damaged hearts and there are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK living with debilitating heart failure, with around 45,604 people in Yorkshire and the Humber alone. I wouldn’t be able to carry out this research without the funding I receive from the British Heart Foundation and by donating to the Heart of Steel; you are helping power lifesaving research.”
Sculptor Steve Mehdi who designed the Heart of Steel added: “The Heart of Steel possesses an emotional strand that reaches across many generations. It now has the potential to fund breakthroughs that will impact the lives of generations to come. My thanks must go to the companies that have supported the project, the British Heart Foundation for their tremendous vision, and the tireless effort of countless people who have made the Heart of Steel what it is today.”
We're calling on the British public to leave a lasting legacy and make a declaration to help beat heartbreak forever by engraving their name, or that of a loved one on the Heart of Steel.
Find out more about the Heart of Steel