Latest in a raft of organisations to announce income warning
Cancelled fundraising events and the closure of charity shops has led to a catastrophic fall in income for the British Heart Foundation which is now facing the biggest challenge in its 60 year history.
The health charity is expecting to slash its £100m research budget by at least half because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its income.
Such a sharp fall could have a “catastrophic impact on UK cardiovascular research, the research careers of thousands of young scientists and advances in diagnostics, treatments and cures for people with heart and circulatory diseases,” the charity warned.
So far no job loses have been mentioned although BHF has furloughed around 80% of its 4,000 staff most of whom worked in its shops.
Charmaine Griffiths, chief executive of the charity, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating for so many people, especially those with heart and circulatory diseases.
“Thanks to 60 years of public support, the BHF has grown to become the UK’s leading funder of non-commercial cardiovascular research, which has saved and improved millions of lives. We now face an unprecedented research funding crisis that threatens to arrest real progress.
“The shockwaves from such a drop in funding for heart and circulatory disease research will be profound, stalling progress in making the discoveries we urgently need.
“We are urging government to establish a vital Life Sciences-Charity Partnership Fund to match research charity funding and help protect world-class research across the UK’s four nations.”
It comes as CR UK said it could be forced to cut £150 million per year from its research funding as the COVID-19 pandemic decimates its income, which could “set back the progress we have seen in survival for people with cancer”.
Chief executives from the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), including CR UK, the BHF and Parkinson’s UK, are now calling on the government to introduce a Life Sciences Partnership Fund and match charity funded research for the next three years.