Reflecting on 2020
2020 was a year like no other. Throughout the year we’ve been proud to adapt and continue supporting the people who need it most. Here we share some of our 2020 highlights.
We became a stronger, more powerful voice for change
On the 1 January 2020 the British Lung Foundation merged with Asthma UK. The merger has been an important step in achieving our shared visions to make an even bigger difference to everyone affected by lung disease.
The pandemic created new demands
Record numbers of people have needed our support this year. Throughout the year we’ve been actively creating and updating bespoke, up-to-date health advice around coronavirus and all the uncertainty it’s brought. During the first lockdown our website views increased by 80%, to over 5 million views!
Our helplines have been busy answering your questions and providing much needed support. During the first month of lockdown the number of calls made to our helplines was nearly 4 times higher than in the same period in 2019.
Helping those living with long COVID
This year our attention also turned to those living with long COVID. After the ‘first wave’ of COVID-19 infections, we wanted to expand our reach and help those who may have been feeling breathless for the first time.
We set up a dedicated nurse-led helpline, a WhatsApp service and an online Post-COVID hub, to help support people with breathlessness and other associated symptoms. The Post-COVID HUB has been vital for people affected by long COVID, as well as family members, carers, healthcare professionals, policy-makers and researchers.
Fundraising went virtual!
With the cancellation of major fundraising events this year, we had to think of new, virtual ideas. We designed challenges like the virtual 5K, the squat challenge, the press up challenge, and even a virtual marathon! We’d like to say a huge thank you to all our supporters this year, you’ve been amazing!
We celebrated our fantastic volunteers
On Wednesday 3 June, we held our first volunteer celebration, acknowledging all the amazing work our volunteers do to keep our support groups going. This year more than ever, we’ve been amazed by their resilience and willingness to adapt. So, a huge thank you once again to all our volunteers, not just for this year but for all the brilliant work you’ve done.
Thank you to everyone who has supported, fundraised and worked with us during the year!