Blog post: Looking ahead to 2017

ASTHMA UK’S CHIEF EXECUTIVE LOOKS FORWARD TO A NEW YEAR OF DISCOVERY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST ASTHMA

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

Kay Boycott, Chief Executive of Asthma UK

There are times when certain quotes chime with me, they seem to sum up where you are at certain points perfectly.

Over the last 12 months the above quote has stuck in my mind – it says everything about where we are right now.

Asthma UK is a relatively small charity who represent 5.4 million people in the UK, from every age, location and background. If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you have asthma and that the future of your asthma lies in the work we do and the discoveries our scientists make.

We have around £1 to spend for every person with asthma in the UK on our quest to stop asthma attacks and cure asthma every year. Everything we do relies on the generosity of our incredible supporters – just like you.

With exciting but ever more expensive research to explore, and many areas for improvement in a challenged NHS, your support has never been more important.

In 2016, your support helped enormously. You have funded ground-breaking research, volunteered for us and helped thousands of people suffering with their asthma. Because of you we have been able to remain laser-focused on those I am here to serve.

Our mission is simple; to stop asthma attacks and cure asthma. It means we have to carry on “punching above our weight”- pressing ourselves into the decision making process, bringing together expert groups, stimulating innovation and, above all, making the voice of people with asthma heard.

Thanks to you I believe we are getting closer to the day when no-one dies because of their asthma.

In the last year we have brought in extra money to support asthma research through a ground-breaking partnership with AstraZeneca and MRC Technnology on epigenetics, won over the NICE decision makers to approve a new drug, mepolizumab, driven asthma action plan take-up to its highest level yet and helped half a million more people than the previous year through our advice and support.

All of this is on top of our world class asthma research programme, expert nurse-led helpline and breakthrough health campaigns.

Without your continued generosity quite simply none of this would have been possible.

Thanks to you we have been able to rise to the challenge and make every penny of our incredibly generous donor’s hard earned money work as hard as possible for people with asthma. With your help I want us to do even more in 2017, wringing even more value from the work we do. Making your gifts go even further.

Key areas of work will build on the foundations we have laid, including:

  • Bringing in more money for asthma research – including funding our world class centres and supporting the work of up and coming asthma scientists.
  • Campaigning to ensure new treatments for asthma, especially severe asthma, are approved and get to those who need them.
  • Making sure asthma digital health solutions are introduced to the UK and realise their promise for people with asthma.
  • Engaging hundreds of thousands more people with asthma with personalised advice tailored to their lifestyle and needs.

We won’t get it right all the time. But it won’t be from lack of dedication and commitment to carry on building a better world for people with asthma.

I hope you have a fantastic new year - It’s my hope that the work we do will help make it even better.

Kay Boycott is the Chief Executive of Asthma UK