People making a will are being urged to put their “heart” into helping a charity save lives.
The call to residents in Hartlepool and East Durham comes from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) which funds part of its research thanks to money left in wills.
“Research funded by the BHF has helped halve death rates from heart and circulatory diseases over the past 50 years” said Deborah Henderson, BHF researcher at Newcastle University.
“So much of our work has only been possible thanks to the amazing individuals who have remembered the BHF in their will.
“These special gifts fund more than a quarter of all cardiovascular research in the UK.”
In the past year, North East residents left more than £1.3million in their wills to the BHF to help fund life-saving cardiovascular research.
“I see first-hand how devastating heart disease can be,” added Deborah.
“We are determined to spare more families the pain of losing a loved one to these conditions.”
She said there are 330,000 people in the North East living with cardiovascular disease.
“A new study shows that 35% of over-65s polled in the North East would consider leaving a gift in their will to charity.
“The top motivations for this included wanting to make a difference and it feeling like the right thing to do.
“I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all those who have already decided to support the BHF in this unique way and encourage more people to consider doing the same, so we can unlock further medical breakthroughs and save more lives.
“A gift of any size, after you’ve provided for your loved ones, will enable the BHF to continue to fund pioneering research so we can beat heart and circulatory disease for good.”
More than half a million people in the UK are living with heart failure which is why, for the past 50 years, BHF has been funding projects which have contributed to advances in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.