Asthma is a serious and growing problem in the UK. It is also the only treatable chronic condition in the western world that is still on the increase.
With over 3.4 million people in the UK with asthma and a child admitted to hospital every 10 minutes due to asthma, the work of the National Asthma Campaign is invaluable.
The National Asthma Campaign is the only independent UK charity dedicated to conquering asthma and improving the quality of life for people with asthma today and in the future. It does so through a combination of research, education and support and works in partnership with people with asthma and all who share their concerns.
The Charity was formed in January 1990 from the amalgamation of the Asthma Research Council (Est. 1927), the Asthma Society (Est. 1980) and Friends of Asthma Research Council (Est. 1972). We will be celebrating our tenth anniversary this coming year. Over these ten years we have:
- Invested £16 million directly into funding independent asthma research and currently commits approaching £3 million annually to promoting, funding and disseminating the results of a wide range of asthma research that will directly help people with asthma now or ultimately cure or prevent asthma in the future.
- Developed a range of independent information, advice and support services that reach many thousands of people with asthma, their families and friends, as well as the health and other professionals who care for them. These services are available at our main office in London as well as our office in Scotland, our information centre in Cornwall and our many voluntary groups all over the UK. Last year our Asthma Helpline, a national service staffed by trained asthma nurse specialists, took over 18,500 calls.
- Established itself as the independent authority on asthma. The charity has strived to raise awareness of asthma and related allergies through media work, campaigning for changes that will benefit people with asthma and public education initiatives. Most recently we convinced Government of the value of self-management for people with asthma. This was included in the recent public health white paper Saving Lives and, as a result the charity is now represented on the Department of Health’s new Expert Patients Programme.
- All this work, funded entirely by voluntary donations, aims to achieve the following outcomes:
- People with asthma are empowered to make informed decisions about how to manage their asthma and take action to achieve what they have a right to expect.
- People with asthma are able to live in an asthma-friendly society and have equal access to the best evidence-based care and support across all settings.
- Strategies that prevent (or reduce) asthma and identify individuals at risk; better treatments, or ultimately a cure, are made available and/or there is improved use of existing treatments.
All of which, if achieved, would mean we could conquer asthma for the 3.4 million people with asthma in the UK today as well as future generations.
Currently though, we only have the resources to reach a small fraction of people with asthma – we believe that many more people with asthma should be benefiting from our services. Currently we only fund a small fraction of the research proposals we receive, which very much limits the progress we can make on achieving our ultimate vision of a world without asthma. These are both reasons why we are committed to a long-term growth strategy for the charity and why we need more funds to support our work.