Heart Research UK is launching its “Heart of Scotland” appeal at an event at the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh, featuring appearances from a host of high-profile Scottish supporters.
The Heart of Scotland is a fundraising appeal to raise and spend money in Scotland on vital medical research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.
The appeal has already gained support from Amy Macdonald, Val McDermid, Mark Bonnar and others. The appeal is launching with a range of four striking coloured badges and one-off T-shirts designed by designer Christopher Kane. They are on sale across Scotland, along with a raft of fundraising events across the country.
Mr Kane said: “The Heart of Scotland appeal is a cause that is literally so close to my heart, anything that can raise awareness and potentially save lives is always worthwhile. Growing up in Scotland in a working class environment, heart disease was always prevalent. So many of my parent’s family and friends passed at an early age from “heart attacks” and no one blinked an eye.
“So it’s good to be part of (albeit in a small way) educating and reinforcing preventive measures, this saves so much heartache.”
Also supporting the campaign is Edinburgh-born impressionist Rory Bremner, who said: “Regrettably, heart disease is still up there with Edinburgh Castle and the Forth Bridges as a widely-recognised Scottish institution, killing more of our fellow Scots than any other disease.
“It doesn’t have to be like this. I’m proud to support the Heart of Scotland appeal and urge you to as well in any way you can.”
The appeal includes a dedicated week of fundraising and celebrations. Money raised will be spent funding pioneering medical research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.
The appeal has received cross-party support from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Rt Hon David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland.
Ms Sturgeon said: “Heart disease affects far too many people across Scotland and we need to do all we can to help combat the disease. This is why I welcome Heart of Scotland and commend everyone involved in its work.
“By business, government and civic society coming together and combining our efforts, we can make a real difference to lives across Scotland.”
Cardiovascular disease causes more than a quarter (27 per cent) of all deaths in Scotland, or more than 15,000 deaths each year. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is Scotland’s single biggest killer.
Barbara Harpham, Heart Research UK Chief Executive, said: “The Heart of Scotland appeal is an opportunity for Scots to take on heart disease together. We want this campaign to reach every corner of the country, and raise money to fund pioneering medical research in Scotland’s hospitals and universities.
“The fact is, you are almost twice as likely to die from coronary heart disease in Scotland than you are in the South-east of England. This needs to change and we need Scotland’s help.”