The charity plans to use Valentine’s Day and its themes of hearts, love and care as a platform to publicise how its nurses alleviate the suffering of people with heart disease.
It is the first time the foundation has focused a campaign on the role of its nurses, who are specially trained to provide a bridge between primary and secondary care for heart-disease patients.
The campaign aims to drive awareness about the fact that its nurses, who are funded by the charity, are in short supply.
The charity hopes the campaign will raise £1m to hire 30 new nurses to treat 10,000 more people per year, and is targeting potential donors who perceive Valentine’s Day as a ‘money-making opportunity’.
‘We want to strip away the romance of the holiday,’ said BHF press and PR officer Ian Fannon. ‘If you are thinking about hearts, think about the 2.7 million people currently living with coronary heart disease in the UK. There is no better way to show that you care than by helping us.’
The charity intends to highlight the fact that heart disease is usually perceived as a condition that only affects the elderly, when in fact babies, children and adults often need long-term treatment for the disease as well.
The foundation is currently seeking to attract celebrity support for the campaign.
The number of people diagnosed with heart disease has almost doubled since 1989. BHF nurses see patients after discharge from the hospital and currently help more than 50,000 patients a year.