Skip navigation |
[Viewing Options]

About the BLF

The British Lung Foundation (BLF) is the only UK charity working for everyone affected by lung disease. We focus our resources on providing support for people affected by lung disease. The BLF works in a variety of ways, including funding world-class research, campaigning to bring about positive change in lung health and improving treatment, care and support for people affected by lung disease.

Contact us - here
Our history
Make yourself heard - join the BLF

About the BLF

One person in seven in the UK is affected by a lung disease. Whether it's mild asthma or lung cancer, the BLF is here for every one of them. This is what we do:

We support people affected by lung disease through the individual challenges they will face. Support is the focus of many of our activities, including our nationwide network of Breathe Easy support groups.

We help people to understand their condition. We do this by providing comprehensive and clear information on paper, on the web and on the telephone.

And we work for positive change in lung health. We do this by campaigning, raising awareness and funding world-class research.


Our history

The BLF was established by Professor Malcolm Green and a group of lung specialists from London's Royal Brompton Hospital in 1985. It has maintained strong links with the medical profession, as well as utilising the talents of people from all walks of life who share a determination to try to conquer lung disease in the 21st Century.



If you, or someone you know or care about, are affected by a lung disease, it can be very difficult. Life can change quite dramatically. People can feel scared, confused and isolated. The BLF aims to support everyone affected by lung disease through the individual challenges they will face.


Breathe Easy
Breathe Easy is the support network of the BLF. The network includes over 22,000 people, with over 200 support groups across the UK - and the numbers are growing all the time.

We support people through regular group meetings, or simply by offering help over the phone. We have a PenPals scheme, enabling people to be in touch with others in the same situation.

Breathe Easy is also a powerful campaigning force for change, working hard at both local and national levels. It was thanks to a Breathe Easy campaign, for example, that the Department of Health agreed to a complete review of the way oxygen is provided in England and Wales.

More information about Breathe Easy.

BLF Nurses
In addition to Breathe Easy, we support people through a network of BLF Nurses across the UK who play a key role improving the quality of care for patients through treatment, education and self management. We also support the training of fitness instructors to set up exercise classes specifically for people with a lung condition through our BLF Active scheme.


Providing help and information
It is important for people to be able to understand lung disease. We produce a large range of information on a wide variety of subjects, and we make it available to people on paper, on our website and over the phone. In 2011 we sent out more than 800,000 leaflets and booklets to members of the public – all for free. You can order our publications online and read them here.

Information Standard logoAs a certified member of the Information Standard, the BLF is a reliable and trustworthy source of health and social care information.

Over the last six years our Helpline has helped more than 26,000 people and dealt with more than 85,000 calls and 5,000 emails. It can be contacted on 03000 030 555 - Mon to Fri 10 am to 6 pm.

The Helpline team is able to provide advice, information and support on a wide variety of issues including the treatment and management of lung conditions, welfare benefits, going on holiday etc. and is there to support anyone affected by a breathing problems including people with a diagnosed condition, parents of children with breathing problems, carers, family and friends and health professionals.

"Everyone told me to phone the (BLF) helpline, and when I finally did as suggested .... they were brilliant. So my advice is to pick up the phone and call as soon as you can..... it eases so many fears"

We also support parents and carers looking after young children with recurring chesty problems. Some have a diagnosed lung condition, others don’t - we are here for any parent or carer who has concerns about their child's breathing. If you would like more information on how we can support your family please contact our Helpline on 03000 030 555.

Web Community

The BLF Web Community is a place for people affected by a lung condition, including partners, other family members and friends, parents of children with a lung condition, to find support from others and to share information.



As well as supporting those affected by lung disease today, the BLF is working for a better future.

The BLF campaigns hard for improvements in all areas of lung health. Breathe Easy supporters and members of the general public have worked with us to ensure that these issues remain high on the Government's agenda at Westminster - and in the political chambers of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

We also campaign to raise public awareness of lung disease and the impact it has on so many lives. We do this through poster campaigns, events and by maintaining our media profile.

Get involved in campaigning by joining the BLF campaigning network or by joining the BLF facebook or twitter group.

On average, the BLF invests one million pounds a year in research projects - all aiming to improve the diagnosis or treatment of lung conditions.

We have funded research which means that:

  • Identified one of the genes involved in lung cancer
  • Pioneered the use of a test to diagnose and monitor lung disease in young children.
  • Proved that vitamin C is crucial for healthy lungs.
    Identified which components of air pollution are the most hazardous to our lungs.
  • Pioneered effective home-treatment for children with pneumonia.
  • Proved that viruses like the common cold are the main trigger for COPD exacerbations.
  • Pioneered the use of ‘pulmonary rehabilitation’ treatment for COPD.
  • Lead to a 30% reduction in the unnecessary use of antibiotics on the treating chest infections.
  • Shed light on how lung cancers become resistant to treatment.
  • Showed that appropriate treatment is crucial in helping people with sleep apnoea to drive a car safely.

More information on BLF research.


Make yourself heard - join the BLF

More and more, people are looking to the BLF as the voice of people with lung conditions. We have to make ourselves heard at all levels, to get our message across.

As we grow in size and influence, we want to be sure that we remain the voice of people with lung disease. That is why the BLF is here, and it is what makes people listen to us.

When you join the BLF, you are adding your voice. The more of us there are, the louder our voice becomes.

Find out more about membership.