Charmaine Griffiths: Covid could set us back years on medical discoveries

The British Heart Foundation chief on how the virus has halved the charity’s research funds and why the government must step in

If Charmaine Griffiths had a blood pressure monitor strapped to her arm it would probably show a rise in her heart rate while she discusses the “catastrophic” impact of Covid-19 on the British Heart Foundation’s research funding. It is “the single biggest challenge in the BHF’s 60-year history”, she says.

During lockdown, the charity was losing £10m a month due to the closure of its 750 shops and a halt to many fundraising activities – a scenario that will resonate with much of the voluntary sector.

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