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What we did last year to...rally together for change.

Together we are stronger. By building our Team Kidney community of patients, volunteers, supporters, partners and researchers we can make our voices heard and progress our mission to end kidney disease.

Building our community

We have seen the number of members of our Kidney Voices for Research Group reach 1,800. This online kidney patient community is vital to our work as patients are the experts living with kidney disease and their insights inform and shape our research portfolio.

Our researcher engagement project made good progress in identifying priorities for focus. And our face-to-face recruitment for regular givers and lottery players added over 3,000 supporters to our kidney community.

We launched key philanthropic partnerships with generous donors and organisations including Kidney Wales, Kidney Research Yorkshire and the PKD Charity, allowing us to fund even more research to benefit patients.

Social media played a vital role in building our community, and our posts received nearly 770,000 likes, comments or shares throughout the year.

Making our voices heard

Working with others gives us a louder voice with government and makes it more likely that kidney disease will be prioritised by the NHS and research funders.

We set up the Kidney Policy Forum to bring together patient organisations, industry representatives and professional bodies. Together we are making the case for kidney disease to be a greater priority for the government and NHS.

The Forum looks at upcoming opportunities to influence policy. It has a particular focus on prevention, early diagnosis and health inequalities, and is looking at ways to increase kidney function testing by GPs.

Reaching those at risk

To complement this work, we are piloting diverse ways to raise awareness of kidney disease and the importance of early detection.

In London, we funded the ‘Hidden CKD’ project which is investigating whether a home urine test could help to detect kidney disease earlier and if our peer educators can encourage more people to take part. By the end of March 2023 approximately 300 people from at risk communities have taken the test, almost half of whom have been referred for further support after concerning results.

We have partnered with NHS Wales and Diabetes UK Cymru to run a similar project, aimed at people living with diabetes from South Asian and deprived communities.

Alongside our peer education projects, our growing number of volunteer community ambassadors, 136 across the UK, are spreading the word about kidney health in their local communities.

Female in hospital bed and her brother sat next to her. Both in hospital gowns
Helen and Henry Woodward post transplant

A family focused on change

Our work relies on the tireless efforts of our supporters, who help raise funds and awareness – often while facing their own considerable kidney challenges.

Take the Woodward family, for example. Ever since her daughter Helen was four years old, Sally Woodward knew she would one day need a transplant. It was witnessing the psychological impact kidney disease had on Helen, and on the wider family, which motivated them to help us rally together for change.

Sally’s son Henry ran the London Marathon, raising over £5,000 and Sally – a member of our Lay Advisory Group – took part in our London Bridges Walk, raising over £1,700.

And in February 2023, more than 20 years after her initial kidney disease diagnosis, Helen received a kidney from Henry.

Front cover of the annual report. White backgroun with side view of muslin female doctor looking into a microsope

Annual report 2022-23

Read more from our annual report to find out how we're investing in research, awareness, and education to accelerate growth that will bring benefit to patients both now and in the future.

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