BMF’s June leads charity drive after heart failure
A national trade body based in Coventry has chosen the British Heart Foundation as its charity for 2023, after a valued team member suffered heart problems last year.
June Upton is Events Manager and PA to the CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) and as part of her role, co-ordinates the organisation’s extensive charity and networking activities.
Now back at work after surgery to have four stents fitted, June is already planning fund-raising events and projects to build on the tens of thousands of pounds the BMF raises for partner charities each year.
June said “It’s vital that we are more aware of issues relating to heart conditions. Quite often, people have no idea of the warning signs.
“For some time, I’d had a tightness in my chest and would find it difficult to catch my breath after walking up stairs. I just thought I needed to get fitter.
“It came to a head at a BMF conference. The chest pains became more intense and I sought medical advice.
“Tests showed my heart was operating at only 15% capacity. I had blockages in two main arteries and four stents were fitted.
“Even though my father had died of a heart attack, and I was feeling so off colour for months before getting medical attention, I had no idea I was suffering from a heart condition.
“People can have a problem and have no idea.”
Previously the BMF has supported partner charities including Band of Builders, Teenage Cancer Trust, Variety-the Children’s charity, Mental Health UK and the Samaritans, raising almost £200,000 in the last five years.
The BMF also raised more than £45,000 for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s work in Ukraine last year.
As well as raising vital funds, the BMF’s new charity partnership with the BHF will also be a key opportunity to raise awareness of heart conditions across the trade body’s membership of 870 merchant and supplier companies, who employ more than 230,000 in the building materials industry.
June added: “I hope our work through the BMF with the BHF helps get that message across and that we raise considerable funds to help the charities work to outsmart heart disease.”