Our privacy and cookies policy

What this privacy and cookie policy covers

BHF is committed to protecting your personal information, whether you are a donor, volunteer, shopper or campaigner. This policy explains how the British Heart Foundation and all entities in the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Group collects and uses the personal information you provide to us, whether online, via phone, email, in letters or in any other correspondence. In some of the other ways that we interact with you, additional terms and conditions may also apply that set out additional ways in which we will use your personal information.  We ensure that we use your information in accordance with all applicable laws concerning data protection of personal information. This policy explains:

  • What information the BHF may collect about you;
  • How we will use that information;
  • Whether we disclose your details to anyone else;
  • Your choices regarding the information you provide to us; and
  • How we use cookies to provide services to you or to improve your use of our websites.
If you have any queries about this privacy and cookies policy please contact the Data Protection Officer at the Legal and Corporate Governance Department, British Heart Foundation, 180 Great Hampstead Road, London or email: [email protected]

By using our website or any of our services, or providing us with any personal data, you agree to your personal data being used and disclosed in the manner set out in this policy. 

Who we are

We are the leading heart charity in the UK and our registered charity numbers are 225971 in England and Wales, and SC039426 in Scotland. We are also registered as a company in England and Wales under registration number 00699547.

British Heart Foundation Ventures Limited a registered company in England and Wales: number 02767880, British Heart Foundation Sales Limited, registered company in England and Wales: number 00877530 and London to Brighton Bike Ride Limited, registered company in England and Wales: number 02672643 are wholly owned subsidiaries of BHF which trade on its behalf. Within the context of this policy ‘we’ means both the charity and its subsidiaries.

Information collection

We may collect personal information about you when you enquire about our activities, register with us for our publications, engage with our social media or message boards, make a donation to us, register for an event or otherwise provide us with personal information. We may also receive information about you from third parties. This can include information such as your name, postal address, email address, phone number, credit/debit card details and whether you are a tax payer so that we can claim Gift Aid. 

We may also gather information about the use of our websites, such as which pages are most visited and which events or facilities are of most interest. We will use this information to improve our websites and to ensure we provide the best services for users. Wherever possible we use aggregated or anonymous information which does not identify individual visitors to our websites. By submitting your details you enable us (and where applicable any suppliers we may use) to raise funds and to provide you with the goods, services, information, activities or online content you select and any other related services BHF may provide. 

We do not usually collect ‘sensitive personal data’ about our supporters unless there is a clear reason for doing so, such as participation in a marathon or similar fundraising event or where we need this information to ensure that we provide appropriate facilities or support to enable you to participate in an event. We may collect health information if you tell us about your experiences relating to heart disease (for example, if you call our helpline or act as a case study for us); however we will make it clear to you when collecting this information as to what we are collecting and why.

Website users

All BHF websites use cookies to help our websites work well and to track information about how people are using them. More information on cookies and how to control the cookies we use can be found further down the page. 

In addition, if you register on our website then the following will also apply:

  • All BHF websites collect personal information when you register with us.
  • The website you sign up to will collect information such as your name, email address and post code. Once you register with that website you will not be anonymous to us when you subsequently sign in.
  • As part of the registration process and continued use of BHF services, you agree that any registration information you give to BHF will always be accurate, correct and up to date.
  • We collect and retain information about your transactions with us so that we can process your transactions and deal with future queries.
  • Through the use of cookies, we will receive information from your computer such as your IP address (the unique number that identifies your computer when you use the internet) and we may record this information to provide you with a good experience when browsing our website or to improve the functionality of our site.

Your debit and credit card information

If you use your credit or debit card to donate to us, buy something or pay for a registration online or over the phone, we will ensure that this is done securely and in accordance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. Find out more information about PCI DSS standards.

We do not store your credit or debit card details at all, following the completion of your transaction. All card details and validation codes are securely destroyed once the payment or donation has been processed. Only staff authorised and trained to process payments will be able to see your card details. 

If we receive an email containing any credit or debit card details, it will be immediately deleted, no payment will be taken and you will be notified about this. All purchases or donations should be completed through the donation page or online shop on our website (www.bhf.org.uk) or via our customer support centre by calling 0300 330 3322.

Job applicants

If you apply to work at the BHF, we will only use the information you give us to process your application and to monitor recruitment statistics. If we want to disclose information to someone outside the BHF, for example, if we need a reference, we will make sure we tell you beforehand, unless we are required to disclose this information by law. 

If you are unsuccessful in your job application, we may hold your personal information for up to 12 months after we’ve finished recruiting for the post you applied for. After this date we will destroy or delete your information. We keep de-personalised statistical information about applicants to develop our recruitment processes however no individual applicant would be identifiable from this information. If you commence employment with the BHF, your data will be processed in accordance with your employment contract and other applicable policies.

How we may use your information

We may use your information for a number of purposes including the following:
  • To provide you with the services, products or information you have requested or which we feel may interest you where you have consented to being contacted;
  • To process donations we may receive from you;
  • To fundraise in accordance with our internal policies and procedures;
  • To create an account for you if you register with us;
  • To provide you with information about our work or our activities that you have agreed to receive;
  • To fulfil sales contracts you have entered into with us as part of our shops;
  • To invite you to participate in interactive features on our website when you choose to do so;
  • For administration purposes (for example we may contact you regarding a donation you have made or the event you have registered for);
  • For internal record keeping, including the management of any feedback or complaints;
  • To invite you to participate in surveys or research (although this is voluntary);
  • To use IP addresses to identify your approximate location, to block disruptive use, to record website traffic or to personalise the way our information is presented to you;
  • To analyse and improve the services offered on our sites to make it as user-friendly as possible; 
  • we may analyse the personal information we collect to create a profile of your interests and preferences so that we can contact you in the most appropriate way and with the most relevant information;
  • Where it is required or authorised by law; and
  • We may assess your personal information for the purposes of credit risk reduction or fraud prevention.
If you enter your contact details into one of our online forms, we may use this information to contact you, even if you don’t click ‘submit’ on the form. We will only do this to see if we can help with any problems you might be experiencing with the form or with our websites. 

Marketing materials

We may contact you for marketing purposes by email or text message if you have agreed to be contacted in this manner for marketing purposes and do not opt-out of receiving further marketing information. We may also send you service communications via email or text, for example where you place an order for goods or services on our website, or you have made a donation by text. 

If you have provided us with your postal address or telephone number we may send you direct mail or telephone you about our work unless you have told us that you would prefer not to receive such information. 

It is your choice as to whether you want to receive information about our work and the ways you can get involved. If you do not want us to use your personal information in these ways please tick the relevant box situated on the form on which we collect your data. You may opt-out of marketing emails at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link in our marketing emails, and can opt-out of receiving marketing texts by sending us an "opt-out" text message. You can also change any of your contact preferences at any time (including telling us that you don’t want us to contact you for marketing purposes by telephone, or send you direct marketing by post) by contacting our Customer Support Centre on 0300 330 3322 or [email protected]

We will not use your information for marketing purposes if you have indicated that you do not wish to be contacted for such purposes. However, we will retain your details on a suppression list to help ensure that we do not continue to contact you.  

Information sharing and disclosure

The BHF may share your personal information with other BHF entities, trading subsidiaries, suppliers or service providers only to provide the products or services you've requested from our site(s) where, for example, we use a separate company to deliver goods to you.

BHF may share your information with our data processors. This would include our trusted partners that work with us in connection with our charitable purposes, and other entities that act as fundraisers for BHF, sell BHF products or provide BHF information and marketing (subject to your communication preferences and our internal policies and procedures). We require these third parties to comply strictly with our instructions and data protection laws and we will make sure that appropriate controls are in place. We enter into contracts with all of our data processors and regularly monitor their activities to ensure they are complying with BHF policies and procedures.

Rest assured, we will never share, sell or swap your details with any third parties for the purposes of marketing. 

We may disclose your personal information to third parties if we are under a duty to disclose your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies), or in order to enforce or apply our rights (including in relation to our website or other applicable terms and conditions) or to protect the BHF, for example in cases of suspected fraud or defamation. 

Heart Helpline

If you contact our nurses, dieticians or advisors on our Heart Helpline, you may choose to provide details of a personal nature. Only the Heart Helpline nurses will use your personal information and only for the purposes of responding to your enquiry. They will not pass your details on to anyone else without your express permission except in exceptional circumstances to comply with the nurses’ code of professional conduct or the law. Your personal information and details of your enquiry will be recorded for quality and monitoring purposes and stored on a secure database. If for any reason you want your details removed from these records, please contact the Heart Helpline on 0300 330 3311.

Under 18's

We are committed to protecting the privacy of the young people that engage with us through our prevention, survival and support services for young people on our website, at events and at schools. 

Our fundraising events also request specific information about the age of participants. If you are under 18 and would like to get involved, please ensure that you have

consent from a parent or guardian before giving us your personal information. When we collect data about a child or young person aged under 18 we will make it very clear as to the reasons for collecting this data and how it will be used.

Vulnerable Supporters Policy

We are committed to protecting vulnerable supporters. Please refer to our Vulnerable Supporters Policy on our website under the ‘We are respectful’ section of our Supporter Promise page. 

Inappropriate website content

If you post or send any content that we believe to be inappropriate, offensive or in breach of any laws, such as defamatory content, we may use your personal information to inform relevant third parties such as your internet provider or law enforcement agencies.

Where we may store your information

For financial and technical reasons we may, on occasion need to use the services of a supplier outside the European Economic Area (EEA), however we will ensure that your information is held in compliance with the European data protection regulations. By submitting your personal information you agree to this transfer, storing or processing at a location outside the EEA. We will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data us kept secure and in accordance with this privacy policy.

Keeping your records

We keep records for as long as required to operate the service in accordance with legal requirements and tax and accounting rules. Where your information is no longer required, we will ensure it is disposed of in a secure manner.


We use different types of cookies to help our websites work well. A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that we may put on your computer or mobile device. These cookies allow us to distinguish you from other users of the website helping us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our site. For example cookies will tell us whether you have visited our site before or whether you are a new visitor, or they can be used to measure the effectiveness of our online marketing campaigns, to ensure we are getting a good return on investment from our digital marketing. 

The main categories of cookies that we use are:

1. Cookies that are necessary to run the site

Our sites use some cookies which are essential to keeping the site working and provide the services you need. These include cookies that enable you to:
  • stay logged in for an entire visit to the site, or
  • add things to a shopping basket and keep them there until you decide to check out.
2. Cookies which help us improve the site 

We use cookies to help us see how people are using our sites. These are known as ‘analytics cookies’, ‘tracking cookies’ or ‘web beacons’. We use analytics cookies:

  • to see what website content is popular and how people are using the site as they allow us to track users movement through our websites.  This type of information is amalgamated so that we can build up a picture of how the site is performing.
  • to make sure we offer you a consistent service. For example, if we are testing new website content or we want to run a survey, we use cookies to remember what content you have seen or if you have already been asked to join the survey.
In addition, when we email you, we may place a tiny tag (also known as ‘tracking pixel’ or ‘web beacon’) on the email we send out. These do not collect any personal information, but they let us know how many people are opening and reading our emails so that we can choose more popular content.

The information we collect using analytics cookies does not involve collecting the name or address of any user. The analytics cookies that we use only operate through our websites so they and the data they collect are not shared with anyone else.

3. Cookies which help us get value for money from advertising

We occasionally use other types of cookies that can track how our advertisements perform.  These cookies will help us identify which advertisements resulted in a “click through” to the BHF website or someone downloading one of our advice sheets. 

A note about Youtube cookies

We have begun to embed our Youtube videos using the ‘Privacy-enhanced’ settings. This uses a cookie if the video is played.

The cookies we specifically use when you visit our site

By continuing to use our website you will have been deemed to have agreed to our use of cookies subject to any preferences you may have indicated to us or any overriding browser settings you may have. 

For further information, please go to www.aboutcookies.org. You will find details on how to delete cookies from your computer as well as more general information about cookies. For information on how to do this on the browser of your mobile phone you will need to refer to your handset manual.

How you can control the cookies used and placed on your computer

We use analytic cookies from two providers – Google Analytics and Adobe Sitecatalyst. You can control our use of either or both of these by clicking on the following links. Please note that if you prevent the use of cookies using either of these systems, you will no longer be included in any tracking data from those tools across all sites (not just BHF websites). 
  • Google Analytics
  • Adobe Sitecatalyst
You can control the use and placing of any cookies on your computer through the settings you select on your internet browser. To do this, identify your internet service provider, click on the relevant link below and follow the instructions. 

PC or Mac browsers
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Internet Explorer
  • Safari OSX
Mobile browsers
  • Safari iOS
  • Android
  • Blackberry
  • Windows Phone

What will happen if you disable some or all of the cookies that BHF uses?

It would be impossible to use our online shop without cookies enabled, as the shopping basket function wouldn’t work. If you would prefer not to use our website, you can order goods by phone. Call: 0845 246 4050 (Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm).

Your ability to edit and delete your account information and preferences

The accuracy of your information is important to us. You can edit your BHF account information, including your address and contact details at any time. If you would like to change your preferences or update the details we hold about you other than online, please contact our Customer Support Centre on 0300 330 3322 or [email protected] or write to Customer Support Centre, British Heart Foundation, Lyndon Place, 2096 Coventry Road, Sheldon, Birmingham, B26 3YU.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 you have a right to request a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to have any inaccuracies corrected. We require you to prove your identity with two pieces of approved identification. Please address requests to the Data Protection Officer, Legal Team, British Heart Foundation, 180 Hampstead Road, London, NW1 7AW and we will respond within 40 days. Please provide as much information as possible about the nature of your contact with us to help us locate your records. We reserve the right to charge a fee of £10 for this process.


This policy only applies to websites owned or operated by entities in the BHF Group. So if a link on this website takes you to the website of a third party you should refer to the privacy policy relating to that website to understand how your personal information is managed by that third party or how they use cookies. We cannot accept any responsibility or liability for the privacy practices of such third party websites and your use of such websites is at your own risk.

Changes to this privacy policy

We may update the terms of this policy at any time, so please do check it from time to time. We will notify you about significant changes in the way we treat personal information by sending a notice to the primary email address you have provided to us or by placing a prominent notice on our website(s). By continuing to use our website you will be deemed to have accepted such changes.

Complaints, Compliments or Comments

If you are unhappy with our work or something that we have done or failed to do, we want to know about it. We also welcome your views on what we do well. Your comments enable us as an organisation to learn and continuously improve our services.

Please find further information about giving us feedback, or lodging a complaint on the feedback and complaints page.