BRITISH Heart Foundation (BHF) shops in Somerset have raised £813,000 in the past year to help fund life-saving research into heart disease.

Those who have donated items, purchased goods or given their time to volunteer have all contributed to the Somerset shops’ success.

This staggering amount has enabled the BHF to fund 95 defibrillators, 19 healthcare professionals and life-saving diagnostic equipment, such as ultrasounds and ECG machines, in the local area.

The BHF also currently funds 14 Heartstart schemes in Somerset, which teach Emergency Life Support and CPR training in local schools and businesses.

All BHF shops have an in-store community board with information on local events, nearby heart support groups and British Heart Foundation leaflets and information. These will soon also be available in all furniture and electrical stores.

Sarah Boardman, BHF area manager, said: “We’re truly overwhelmed with the ongoing generosity of the local community in Somerset. We’re so grateful to all our supporters and want to thank every single person who has joined us in the fight against heart disease.

“People often don’t realise that the sofa or dress they donate to or buy from their local BHF shop actually raises vital funds and helps pay for anything from an echo machine in their local hospital to a community heart support group.

“We couldn’t fund this life-saving equipment or research in Somerset without the support of the local community and we hope they will continue to support BHF shops for many years to come.”

Around 1,190 people die from coronary heart disease (CHD) in Somerset every year, but with continued support from local people, the BHF can fight harder to reduce this figure. CHD is the UK’s single biggest killer, causing approximately 74,000 deaths in the UK every year1. BHF shops are located in Bath, Bridgwater, Mendip, Sedgemoor, Frome and Taunton and sell anything from clothes, shoes and handbags to CDs, DVDs and books.

There is a BHF furniture and electrical store in Taunton which sells items such as sofas, dining tables, beds, wardrobes, TVs and fridges.

BHF shops offer a free collection service for donations that can be booked over the phone by calling 0800 915 3000, or online for larger furniture and electrical items at It’s never been easier to support the BHF’s fight for every heartbeat.

BHF shops are always happy to welcome more volunteers. To find out more about volunteering, visit