Awards season is well underway… but the Oscars, Baftas and Golden Globes have nothing on the Virtual BHF Heart Hero Awards 2021. Nominations for the 2021 awards have just launched. And, as the BHF celebrates its 60th anniversary, we are looking for health professionals and members of the public going above and beyond to save and improve the lives of those battling heart and circulatory diseases.

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic hit the BHF hard in 2020 – cutting their research budget by half. So, this year we are adding a special award – Innovative Fundraiser – to acknowledge those who found new and creative ways of raising money, despite events like the London Marathon and the BHF’s London to Brighton Bike Ride being cancelled.

A ‘Heart Hero’ can be anyone: From a nurse or doctor working in the field of heart disease that may have helped you or your family, to a young person with heart disease who has shown incredible courage and determination or a fantastic fundraiser. All nominees and winners will be invited to our glitzy star-studded online awards ceremony premiering Live on YouTube on World Heart Day on September 29th when the winners will be announced. There are three categories to nominate in: My Healthcare Hero, Innovative Fundraiser and Young Heart Hero (under 18).

Some of last year’s inspirational winners included: 104 year-old Joan Willett, a double heart attack survivor who raised more than £60,000 with a daily hill climb outside her care home during the pandemic; Toddler Sophia Marshall who was born with 11 complex heart defects and  survived against the odds to raise awareness of congenital heart disease and raise funds for the BHF with her family; Dedicated couple June and Jim Machin who channelled their grief from losing their two sons to congenital heart disease to raise over £600,000 for the BHF over 45 years.

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Following the huge success of last year’s Virtual Heart Hero Awards, this year’s event will again be virtual. It has been an incredibly challenging year for heart patients and their families, the heart research community and the BHF which has seen its research budget halved due to the impact of Covid-19.

That is even more reason to celebrate the remarkable achievements of our supporters who have gone above and beyond – despite the pandemic - to help the BHF Beat Heartbreak Forever.”