No Smoking Day merges with the British Heart Foundation

The charity approached the BHF because it expects to lose an annual grant of £250,000 from the Department of Health

Betty McBride, director of policy and communications at the BHF
Betty McBride, director of policy and communications at the BHF

The charity No Smoking Day, which runs the campaign of the same name, has become part of the British Heart Foundation.

No Smoking Day started approaching potential merger partners because it expects to lose half its funding in 2012, when an annual grant of £250,000 from the Department of Health will come to an end.

The move involves two No Smoking Day staff moving from offices in Shoreditch, east London, to the BHF headquarters in Mornington Crescent in north London. Its other employee, chief executive Amit Aggarwal, will leave when his fixed-term contract expires in November.

The BHF said it would invest at least £250,000 a year in No Smoking Day, up from its current contribution of about £37,500 a year.

Aggarwal said: "No Smoking Day is one of the UK’s longest-standing and most successful public health campaigns. But like many charities, we’ve been severely affected by public sector cuts, with 50 per cent of our total funding wiped out from next year. Fortunately, we’ve found a stable, long-term future for No Smoking Day with the BHF."

Betty McBride, director of policy and communications at the BHF, said joining forces would help No Smoking Day extend its reach. "For both organisations, the opportunities posed by this merger were too good to miss," she said.

She said the charity would consult stakeholders over the future of the No Smoking Day brand and how the BHF’s support for it could be appropriately reflected. "The No Smoking Day brand is its strongest asset," she said. "It is a world class brand and you mess with that at your peril.

"We are going to talk to people who work in the field of smoking cessation and smokers about the best ways of showing the British Heart Foundation’s support for No Smoking Day."

The legal process of the merger, already agreed by trustees of both charities, will finish at the end of March.

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