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About us

We work to stop asthma attacks and, ultimately, cure asthma.

Every ten seconds someone in the UK has a potentially life-threatening asthma attack and three people die every day. Tragically two thirds of these deaths could be prevented, whilst others still suffer with asthma so severe current treatments don't work.

This has to change. That's why Asthma UK exists. We work to stop asthma attacks and, ultimately, cure asthma by funding world leading research and scientists, campaigning for change and supporting people with asthma to reduce their risk of a potentially life threatening asthma attack.

We fight asthma in three ways:

We fund world class asthma research.

We campaign to improve the quality of care received by people with asthma.

We help hundreds of thousands of people a year with our expert advice and support.

Our strategy

Asthma UK Strategy 2014-17

Our vision is to stop asthma attacks and cure asthma.

Download our 2014-17 strategy

We have a proud history of funding research and supporting people with asthma for decades, and an independent review has shown Asthma UK scientists have made breakthroughs in many different areas. Asthma outcomes did improve during the latter part of the last century and so sometimes people mistakenly believe asthma is no longer serious or a drive for improvement not necessary. In fact in recent years the number of people with asthma has risen. 1 in 11 people in the UK has asthma, including 1.1 million children, and their chance of good outcomes have plateaued and on some measures declined. Tragically, still the majority of deaths from asthma are entirely preventable. That's why our focus in our 2014-17 strategy is to reduce the risk of life threatening asthma attacks; key to this will be ending the complacency about asthma.

We also have a Research Strategy to guide the charity's investment in research for the next five years. The strategy was developed through extensive consultation amongst researchers, healthcare professionals, people affected by asthma, policymakers and relevant partner organisations. The aims of the strategy are to fund research which improves the lives of people living with asthma today, reaches towards the creation of asthma cures, increases the number of highly skilled asthma researchers in the UK, encourages and enables collaboration between scientists and funders, and supports the ongoing evaluation of our research achievements.

Our governance

Asthma UK is a charity registered in England and Wales (802364) regulated by the Charity Commission. In Scotland, we are registered (SCO39322) by the Scottish charity regulator. It is a membership based charity and governed by a Council of Trustees. The day-to-day running of the Charity is the responsibility of the Chief Executive and Senior Team.

Additionally the charity's governance complies with the code for the Voluntary and Community Sector, endorsed by the Charity Commission. We are a member of the Fundraising Regulator and our fundraising complies with its Fundraising Promise, which includes having a complaints procedure.

We are a member, and follow the standards of the Association for Medical Research Charities to ensure all medical research we fund is carried out to the highest standards.

Council of Trustees

Our Council consists of Trustees who work together and take overall responsibility for the charity, supported by committees and advisory groups. They are responsible for:

  • Furthering our overall purpose, as set out in our governing document, and setting our direction and strategy.
  • Ensuring our work is effective, responsible and legal.
  • Safeguarding our finances, resources and property and ensuring they are used to further our purpose, including approval of annual budgets.
  • Being 'accountable' to those with an interest or stake in us or those who regulate us. Establishing clear boundaries with the staff and volunteers who carry out our work between the governance role of the council and operational or day-to-day matters.
  • Ensuring the Council operates effectively.

The Council comprises up to 16 Trustees, 10 of whom are directly elected by members and up to a further six who may be co-opted by Council. Trustees receive no remuneration other than for expenses incurred as Trustees.

Council Sub-Committees

There are three sub-committees which operate under terms of reference set by Council and report on their meetings to the subsequent Council meeting. They are the:

  • Finance and Audit Committee: oversees in detail the financial plans and performance of the organisation, reviews the results of the risk management processes and monitors the performance of the charity's investment portfolio.
  • Nominations Committee: oversees the process for the election and co-option of Trustees.
  • Remuneration Committee: responsible for advising Council on staff remuneration.

Advisory Groups

There are also advisory groups which provide specialist advice and support to the organisation.

  • Research Review Panel: Members of the panel are invited independent experts who meet to review grant applications and make recommendations to Council, and inform and review progress against the research strategy.
  • Council of Healthcare Professionals: A multi-disciplinary group of health care professionals who act in an advisory and ambassadorial capacity to help Asthma UK achieve its strategic objectives.
  • Lay Advisory Group: A panel of people who provide advice to Asthma UK staff and the Trustees on the views of people with asthma and their carers.

Our Annual Report and Accounts

Our annual report and accounts reviews our performance for the previous year, the progress were making against our objectives and our aims for the future. There is also more detailed information on our governance, structure and management, and detailed accounts of our finances.

Annual Report and Accounts for 2015-16

Annual Report and Accounts for 2014-15

Annual General Meeting

Each year the charity has an Annual General Meeting to consider matters including the annual accounts and reports and the election or re-election of Trustees.

Contact us

Visit our contact page to find out how best to contact us.