About the BBC Lifeline appeal
A monthly ten minute programme broadcast on BBC One, the BBC Lifeline Appeal highlights the work of the chosen charity, together with an appeal for donations to support its activities.
The BBC has a long history of supporting such appeals. The first was on 17 February 1923, (just three months after broadcasting began) for a charity representing homeless veterans of the First World War. This raised a grand total of £26 6s 6d
The appeal aims to provide smaller charities with an unprecedented platform for raising money and awareness and the appeal on Sunday 3 September is a fantastic way for the British Polio Fellowship to engage with the BBC’s audience and reach out to some of the 120,000 people in the UK living with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS)
There are 11 Lifeline Appeals each year and in 2016/17 they raised over £284,480
Why support a Lifeline appeal?
Every BBC Lifeline Appeal broadcast has been vetted and are carefully considered and only the most worthy are selected. This means the public can be confident their donations are going to a worthwhile cause that has passed the strict criteria demanded by the BBC board responsible.
For smaller charities like the British Polio Fellowship, not only is this a moment of pride on behalf of our 7,000 plus members but a chance not only to raise funds, but to showcase our support and services to those who may not be aware we are still here after all these years and stand ready to help those living with Polio and now PPS in the UK today.
Why the British Polio Fellowship?
Since 1939, the British Polio Fellowship has been dedicated to helping, supporting and empowering those in the UK living with Polio and more recently, the late effects of Polio and Post Polio Syndrome (PPS). The charity currently has over 7,000 members nationwide, but our support is freely available, not just to our members but the estimated 120,000 people in the UK estimated to be living with PPS today.
We provide information, advocacy and support where it matters most – enabling members to live fuller, independent lives for as long as possible.
Given that Polio is officially eradicated in the UK, those living with the late effects of Polio and PPS can feel forgotten, coping with a condition believed vanquished, yet whose debilitating effects linger on as the forgotten footnote of Polio. This is something the charity is committed to change.
PPS is characterised by increasing weakness, fatigue and pain in previously unaffected muscles, a general reduction in stamina, breathing, sleeping, swallowing and cold intolerance. There is no cure, but properly managed, it may progress more slowly, lessening the cost to the NHS while improving quality of life for those affected.
Many of our older members are assisted by our Support Services team who provide a wealth of support on everything from benefits claims and legal representation, to the support given by our nationwide network of regions and branches.
Polio has no respect for age or nationality and we have many younger members too, including Paralympians Anne Wafula-Strike and James Crisp.
Only the generosity and support of the public allows us to fund our life changing support service initiatives – ensuring we can remain a lifeline for those living with a neurological condition that affects the same number of people as Parkinson’s disease, yet receives a fraction of the public awareness. We know there are thousands more out there who would benefit from our support – with your help, the Lifeline Appeal is our way to reach out to them and ensure we can keep serving into our 80th year and beyond.