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Change is even more urgent now.

20 October 2022

2021/22, a year when we built back from the toughest of times, re-launched our research programme, innovated and moved forward at pace with our plans.

We brought together world experts in Alport syndrome, a rare kidney condition, to accelerate discovery. We held our first funding competition to develop research entrepreneurs. We established a new policy team and stepped up our lobbying of UK parliaments for positive change. We secured important changes to the way people’s risk of kidney disease should be assessed. And we embarked on exciting new collaborations to increase the rate of progress.

Committed support

All of this has been achieved thanks to the commitment from our supporters and partners who, galvanised by the stark inequalities faced by kidney patients during the pandemic, stepped forward in support of our mission. We have really felt the strength and power of your loyalty and commitment, and it’s been truly heartwarming.

While much of the world went back to ‘normal’, the reality for many kidney patients was very different. Covid-19 remains a threat to life for those who are immunosuppressed and have not responded well to vaccinations. The ongoing situation means our work to transform treatments matters even more now. And while the mental health burden of kidney disease was already in our sights, the pandemic made action on this even more urgent.

We were delighted to return to some face-to-face events and one of our first opportunities came at the Survivors Unfiltered exhibition, featuring inspiring portraits of people with kidney disease.

Sandra Currie networking
Sandra Currie, chief executive, at our industry day event.

However, our get-togethers took place with fewer kidney patients and their families than before, because not everyone felt safe to attend. We will continue to hold a mix of in-person and virtual events, to make sure everyone has the opportunity to get involved with the charity.

More funding for research

Our higher-than-projected income enabled us to almost match pre-pandemic levels of research funding. However, a large proportion of our income came from generous gifts in people’s Wills and it’s not clear why it was such an extraordinary year for legacies. Given the uncertain financial environment in which we’re operating, not least the impact of the cost of living crisis, we must continue to work hard to ensure our income sources are diverse and sustainable.

We hope that an emerging income stream may stem from the UK Government’s renewed commitment to UK research and development – pledged to reach £20 billion by 2025. We welcome that vision and will work tirelessly to ensure kidney research is among the priorities.

In the past year we’ve made great progress in our research activity. We’re doing things in new, leaner ways and making really exciting progress. The kidney community is more united than ever, and our supporters are standing with us as we work to accelerate research and make it count for patients, towards the day when everyone lives free from kidney disease.

Our impact in 2021/22

Take a look at our annual report pages to read about the impact we've made. Kidney disease ends here.

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