Campaigns we support

Find more information about the campaigns we support and how you can get involved.

As part of our work to raise awareness and prevent lung disease across the UK, we sometimes join forces with other charities, the government and companies on a range of different campaigns.

Breathe Freely - BOHS

It’s no secret that construction workers are at high risk of contracting lung disease from the work that they do. In 2015, approximately 3,500 will die from occupational cancer caused by past exposure to asbestos, another 500 will die from exposure to silica dust and 5,500 new cases of occupational cancer will be reported. Furthermore, today alone, an unknown but significant number will breathe in the hazardous substances that will one day debilitate or kill them.

What is less well known is that there’s a solution: most of these industrial diseases can be prevented – by recognising the real hazards, evaluating the risks of being exposed to them, and then effectively controlling those exposures (otherwise known as good occupational hygiene practice).

We support BOHS leading on an initiative which aims to reduce the incidence of occupational lung disease in the construction sector, which launched on Worker Memorial Day, Tuesday 28 April 2015.

Find out more about the Breathe Freely campaign.


The Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Four Week Wait

The Four Week Wait Campaign aims to introduce fast tracking of treatment for vocational drivers with obstructive sleep apnoea.

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a condition which, if untreated, can be very dangerous to a person's health, significantly reducing quality of life. In addition because it causes excessive sleepiness, it is a risk factor for road traffic accidents which can have a devastating impact, not only on the patient, but on other members of the public.

From experience we know that:

  • The typical profile of a vocational driver, particularly HGV drivers, means that they are a high risk group when it comes to OSA.
  • That these drivers are not confident to come forward for treatment because they fear the loss of their licence, and thus the prospect of losing their job.

However, by not coming forward, they remain a hazard to themselves and others because they risk falling asleep while driving.

Consequently the Four Week Wait campaign is calling for the treatment of vocational drivers with obstructive sleep apnoea to be expedited to allow driving again within a maximum of four weeks following first referral.

It is important to note that the objective of this campaign is not to single out vocational drivers, nor to suggest that they are in any way at fault. HGV drivers in particular are widely recognised as some of the safest drivers on our roads. However OSA is a condition that overwhelms driving skill in even the best drivers, as people have no control over the sleepiness that OSA can cause. The OSA Partnership Group's aim is to support the case of these vocational drivers to ensure that they can be confident when presenting with relevant symptoms of receiving prompt diagnosis and treatment.

The OSA Partnership Group has undertaken many initiatives to raise awareness of OSA, particularly with HGV drivers. It now feels the need to take this a step further by pushing for UK-wide fast tracking of treatment for this group of vocational drivers, who are so dependent on maintaining the ability to drive. In doing so, it aims to prevent the understandable tendency for drivers not to come forward and be treated for their symptoms.

In order to achieve this objective the group is working with NHS England, NICE and the Department of Transport in order to encourage Clinical Commissioning Groups, GPs and sleep clinics to adopt fast tracking for vocational drivers, and to gain support from fleet operators in order to give drivers the confidence to come forward.

As a direct result of the campaign some sleep clinics are looking at the four week treatment process, and successfully introducing it. The group's aim is to make this a nationwide service for vocational drivers.

Find out more about the Four Week Wait campaign.


Respiratory health campaign - Mediaplanet

With our expert support and advice, Mediaplanet launched their respiratory health campaign in the Independent newspaper to raise awareness of lung disease.

If you missed their campaign, you can now view all of the content online, including the foreword from our Chief Executive, Dr Penny Woods.

Actress Linda Robson also explains why it’s so vital for people at risk to get the flu jab, BLF Helpline nurse Vicky Barber shares her tips for managing asthma this winter, and there’s an exclusive interview with Olympic athlete James Cracknell.

View the respiratory health campaign online


More Than a Cold

It is vital for people living with a lung disease to protect themselves against flu and pneumonia during the winter months by receiving a flu jab and pneumococcal jab.

However research shows that more than half of people who are at risk haven’t received one or both of the vaccines.

Contracting pneumonia or flu when you are already living with a lung condition can you leave seriously ill, which can lead to long-term ill health, hospitalisation and in some cases can even be fatal.

We supported the More Than a Cold campaign, developed and funded by Pfizer, which aimed to increase awareness and understanding of flu and pneumococcal disease, including pneumonia, and to encourage people most at risk of infection to visit their GP to be vaccinated.

Throughout December 2011 and January 2012, we were on the road with Pfizer and our BLF nurses, travelling up and down the UK. We talked to shoppers about the benefits of being vaccinated and our BLF professionals were on hand to answer any questions or concerns people had about the vaccinations.

We met and talked to thousands of people over the two months at the road shows along with numerous calls to our BLF Helpline, asking about flu and pneumonia. We also signposted people to their GP to speak to them about vaccinations.