At the grassroots level, the BLF’s work is supported and promoted by the charity’s Breathe Easy groups, who mainly consist of those living with a lung condition, as well as those who care for them.
Breathe Easy groups are key in keeping respiratory health at the top of every agenda on a local level. In addition, BLF volunteers support virtually every department in every office across the UK – a vital cog in the functioning of the BLF.
On the financial side, the BLF is supported by individual donors who do a remarkable job raising money, whether it is through running marathon or simply a regular donation.
In addition to individual contributions, corporate partners are also very important, playing a central role in funding major BLF campaigns and projects.
The generosity of charitable trusts and foundations is also vital to our mission to fight lung disease.
In the public arena, our celebrity supporters have also been invaluable, using their high profile to draw attention to important issues surrounding respiratory health.
BLF celebrity supporters
We work with celebrities in different ways and are so grateful for their time and support. Whether it’s helping us to raise awareness of a lung disease in the media or fronting a fundraising appeal, having a well-known name attached to our charity allows us to reach a wider audience who could benefit from our support.
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench has been a great supporter of ours since her husband, Michael Williams, lost his two-year battle with lung cancer in 2001. She set up a BLF Breath of Life fund in his memory and is our charity’s Vice President.
Dame Judi has also supported many fundraising initiatives over the years and represented us during our BBC Radio 4 appeal in September 2010. She has signed our Smoking in cars petition and appeared in the Independent on Sunday in 2010, encouraging others to sign the petition too.
“I feel it is vital to support the British Lung Foundation and help the charity to find the 2.8 million people with undiagnosed COPD. Having lived with someone with a lung disease, I know how painful it can feel gasping for breath and how isolated it can leave you.”
- Dame Judi Dench
Being diagnosed with COPD and understanding exactly what is it like to live with a lung condition, Liz Dawn became our supporter in January 2009. She is dedicated to helping us raise awareness of COPD and respiratory disease.
Liz fronted our Breathe Easy Week campaign in 2009 and helped us raise awareness of COPD in the media through a feature with the Daily Mail as well as appearing on GMTV, This Morning and Loose Women. Liz did an incredible job in raising the profile of COPD by encouraging people who are experiencing symptoms, to get it checked out by their GP.
“One wonderful aspect of being famous is that I can help charities like the British Lung Foundation and I get so much enjoyment from it because I believe I have been very lucky in my life and that’s why I like to make sure I give something back”.
- Liz Dawn
Being a builder by trade, Craig knows only too well the dangers of asbestos if you are exposed as his uncle currently lives with an asbestos-related illness. Since 2008, Craig Phillips has been supporting us to raise awareness of the asbestos related chest cancer mesothelioma.
Craig has fronted our Action Mesothelioma Day campaign aimed to ensure that homeowners do DIY safely and understand of the dangers of asbestos if it is disturbed. As part of the campaign Craig was interviewed by the Daily Mirror, the Metro and appeared on Loose Women.
Craig also appeared on the Scottish game show Postcode Challenge in 2010 and donated his winnings to us.
“I am delighted to be able to help the British Lung Foundation; their work is invaluable to many people across the country. This campaign focuses on the building industry which is why I wanted to get involved because I owe a lot to the industry and if I can protect it in any way I will. The initiative is also close to my heart as my uncle has been affected by asbestos exposure so I know exactly how dangerous asbestos can be.”
- Craig Phillips
Dr Carol Cooper
Media doctor and GP, Dr Carol Cooper has supported us since 2009. She fronted our World COPD Day campaign in 2009 and took part in a series of media interviews to raise awareness of the early symptoms of COPD including breathlessness and a persistent cough.
Dr Carol Cooper has also supported our Smoking in cars campaign and signed our national petition to protect from second-hand smoke in the car.
“I support the British Lung Foundation’s ‘Love your lungs’ campaign as I think it is really worrying that many smokers or ex-smokers are experiencing early symptoms of COPD such as a persistent cough or breathlessness, yet haven’t seen their GP for a lung function test. The ‘smoker’s cough’ that so many smokers put up with is a sign of ill-health. They should get themselves checked as soon as possible as the sooner they are diagnosed and treated the better”.
Former Who Wants to Be a Millionaire presenter, Chris supports our Smoking in cars campaign and signed our national petition to protect children from second-hand smoke in the car.