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Kidney Research UK


The magazine from Kidney Research UK

Autumn 2023

Issue 32


Thank you for taking the time to read this issue of Update.

Did you know, many kidney patients also live with other related conditions. In this issue, we explore the connections between kidney disease, heart disease and diabetes, and how your support is helping us find new ways to help patients.

In our recent report we discussed how in our ageing population, the number of people experiencing heart disease and/or diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate. Consequently, by 2033 the number of people living with kidney disease could reach 7.61m as a result.

While we are finding ways to prevent this worst-case scenario, you are also helping our researchers make treatments for kidney failure kinder and more effective. You’ll read about a great example of just one of the projects underway: technology to help create a dialysis machine that could fit in a backpack. It may be a little while before we see patients using these machines, but the life-changing potential for on­the-go dialysis is very exciting.

We’re anticipating more innovations like this as we announce major new funding awards. Together, the awards will invest more than £3 million in researching new ways to improve patients’ lives, including transforming transplantation.

Everything you read in the following pages is only possible because of you. Thank you for your continued support for Kidney Research UK.

Warmest wishes

Sandra Currie, Chief executive

Hidden CKD project hits first milestone.

The team on the Stoneygate Trust-funded Hidden CKD project have reached a crucial milestone in the search for people with undiagnosed chronic kidney disease (CKD).

After testing over 700 high-risk people across London boroughs, peer educators were able to identify high numbers of people who didn’t realise they had risk factors for kidney disease, including high blood pressure and albuminuria (protein in the urine). The team are supporting these individuals to get further testing with their GP with great success. They are hopeful that their efforts have allowed them to catch the disease early enough in some participants to enable them to get early treatment to protect their kidney health.

The hard work of the team continues into the autumn to try to identify even more people with early stages of kidney disease.

Peer educators receive King’s birthday honours.

Two of our dedicated peer educators have received awards from King Charles’ first birthday honours list.

Dr Inderjit Singh was awarded an MBE (becoming a Member of the Order of the British Empire) for his excellent work hosting Sunday surgery sessions for the local Punjabi community and helping to highlight the importance of kidney health.

Kailash Malhotra was given the British Empire Medal for Meritorious Service (MEB) for her incredible work as a peer educator, using her exceptional language skills to go out into the South Asian community and educate people about organ donation.

Congratulations to both individuals who continue to work tirelessly in their communities.

New insights into peritoneal dialysis infections.

With funding from Kidney Research UK, Professor Simon Jones and his team at the University of Cardiff have identified a new pathway to explain how repeated immune responses to infection can lead to scarring and damage in peritoneal dialysis patients.

In peritoneal dialysis (where a membrane within the abdomen known as the ‘peritoneum’ is used to help clean the blood), complications, including infections, are common and can lead to damage to the peritoneum. In serious cases, this damage can lead to treatment failure.

The study, which was recently published in The Journal of Immunology, offers an important step forward in our understanding of how and why infections cause damage to the peritoneum. Building on these new insights, Simon and colleagues hope to undertake further studies to help identify high-risk patients before problems occur and look at targeted ways to block inflammation.

MPs hear our case for earlier detection of kidney disease.

We are deeply grateful to the hundreds of supporters who engaged with their MPs and encouraged them to attend our parliamentary reception in September.

A key milestone since the publication of our report warning that kidney disease has become a public health emergency (as featured in our last issue of Update), the event gave us the opportunity to highlight the projected rise in patient numbers and consequent economic costs.

MPs listened to our case for prioritising investment in earlier detection of kidney disease which could mean the difference between people managing relatively comfortably for many years with chronic kidney disease, or relying on dialysis or transplantation to stay alive.

Study highlights the importance of Covid-19 vaccines.

Early results from the MELODY study, co-funded by Kidney Research UK, highlight the importance of Covid-19 vaccination for people who have had a kidney transplant.

The study, led by Dr Michelle Willicombe from Imperial College London, involved over 28,000 immunocompromised patients across the UK, including those with organ transplants, blood cancer and autoimmune diseases. Participants who had received three or more doses of Covid-19 vaccine used a home-based finger-prick blood test to see if they had developed antibodies against the virus that causes Covid-19.

Of the 9,927 patients involved who had received a solid organ transplant (including 6,591 kidney patients), 77% produced antibodies following Covid-19 vaccinations; with the proportion increasing with each additional vaccine dose. However, transplant recipients who take three anti-rejection medications were less likely to have antibodies.

Further data showing whether patients with no antibodies experienced serious symptoms after Covid-19 infection are expected shortly. This will help healthcare professionals identify and assist patients who may remain at risk despite vaccination.

The study was published in The Lancet Journal of Rheumatology.

Multiple diseases can create a vicious circle.

Often, kidney disease doesn’t appear on its own – frequently people are living with other health conditions too. This combination can have a huge impact on people’s lives and sadly also impact on how long they live.

For this reason helping people living with several health conditions is one of our priorities. We already fund work in this area and are accelerating progress. Here we take a closer look at heart disease and diabetes – the two biggest drivers of kidney disease – how they can impact kidney patients and what we are doing to help.

Heart disease.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels.

It is regarded as a risk factor for kidney disease because the heart and kidneys work very closely together. So if something goes wrong with the heart it can also lead to problems for the kidneys.

How the heart and kidneys work together.

The heart and kidneys work together to maintain a healthy circulation. The heart pumps a continuous supply of oxygenated blood around the body, whilst the kidneys filter the blood and extract waste products as urine. The kidneys can only work when enough blood passes through them. The kidneys also control the amount of salt and water in the bloodstream and, by sending chemical messengers (hormones) cause arteries to contract contributing to good blood pressure control.

What happens when things go wrong? A vicious circle.

If the blood pressure is too high for a while then the heart may stop pumping efficiently (‘heart failure’). This reduces the blood supply to the kidneys, causing them to retain salt and water and send signals to increase the blood pressure even more. This causes fluid build-up and increased pressure in the main veins, which makes the heart failure worse. Heart failure can also reduce the efficiency of kidney filtration.

Many types of kidney damage cause increased production of the blood pressure controlling hormones, leading to high blood pressure. This puts an additional strain on the heart and can, in the long run, cause heart failure. High blood pressure also increases the risk of damage to the arteries, which can cause heart attacks. And vice versa, high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in the kidney over time, damaging the filters in the kidneys (called ‘glomeruli’) and stop them working efficiently, leading to a progressive fall in kidney function.

Ways kidney patients can prevent cardiovascular disease or stop it worsening.

A healthy lifestyle can help to lower your risk of getting cardiovascular disease or help to stop the condition from getting any worse. Not smoking, a balanced diet, exercising regularly, cutting down on alcohol and maintaining a healthy weight can all help.

Depending on your risk of cardiovascular disease, your GP may offer you tablets to lower harmful cholesterol in the blood (usually ‘statins’) or to lower blood pressure, or aspirin to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

One example of our work tackling heart disease and kidney disease.

Children with CKD are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases which damage their blood vessels, causing illness and even death. There is an urgent need to better understand the causes of CVD and develop new ways to treat it in these children.

Professor David Long and Rukshana Shroff from Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health at University College London, together with PhD student Andrew White, are using a three-dimensional human blood vessel model to replicate the changes that occur in blood vessels of children with CKD. They will also develop a model that will help explore the effect of calcium and phosphate on the blood vessels, as in excess they have been linked to progression of kidney disease. Finally, they will screen drugs that can serve as therapeutic agents. It is hoped that results from this research will help to identify new treatments to protect the blood vessels of children with CKD.

This project is funded through a Sutherland studentship award from Kidney Research UK.


Diabetes is a long-term condition that causes a person’s blood glucose level to become too high because of problems with the hormone insulin. Glucose is the main type of sugar that the body uses for energy. If untreated, it can lead to serious health complications – including kidney damage.

Around 40 per cent of people with diabetes could eventually develop diabetic kidney disease, also known as diabetic nephropathy.

Types of diabetes.

There are two main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes – where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. It often begins in childhood or adolescence and is not caused by dietary or lifestyle factors. Patients need regular insulin injections to stay alive.
  • Type 2 diabetes – (the most common) where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells become resistant to insulin. The main risk factors include being overweight or obese, having a sedentary lifestyle, having a family history of type 2 diabetes, and being from a minority ethnic group. Type 2 diabetes can usually be controlled with drugs and by diet, but if the condition progresses, insulin treatment often becomes necessary.

How does diabetes affect the kidneys?

High blood glucose levels increase the pressure inside the delicate filtering system in the kidney (the glomeruli), causing increasing damage to the filters. This damage causes high blood pressure, leakage of protein into the urine and, in the long run, can cause progressive kidney damage and eventual kidney failure. It is not inevitable, but it is common.

How to reduce risk of kidney disease worsening if you have diabetes.

Testing kidney function at your yearly diabetic review is essential so action can be taken if there are signs of deterioration. Controlling your diabetes well reduces the risk of kidney damage.

Again, a healthy lifestyle is fundamental in preventing kidney damage: giving up smoking, reducing blood pressure by taking regular exercise, losing weight, keeping alcohol intake down, eating a good healthy diet (especially avoiding processed foods), reducing salt intake and controlling cholesterol. Some people may also need to take tablets to control blood pressure and cholesterol.

Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors, or SGLT-2 inhibitors, (their names end with ‘gliflozin’), are newer medications that prevent the kidneys from reabsorbing glucose back into the blood. This helps lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. They also have kidney protective properties and can slow down the progression of kidney disease in people both with and without diabetes. SGLT-2 inhibitors are also good for people with heart failure. Speak to your GP about accessing these.

One example of our work tackling diabetes and kidney disease.

Professor Amy Jayne (AJ) McKnight, from Queen’s University Belfast is studying who is at higher risk of developing new onset (type 2) diabetes after a kidney transplant. This serious complication affects up to half of people who receive a kidney transplant, increasing their risk of transplant failure.

Small studies by AJ and her team suggest there are inherited risk factors for new onset diabetes after transplant which combine with lifestyle factors (medication, diet and exercise) to cause the disease.

With our funding, the team are now collaborating with researchers in the UK, Europe and America to try to predict who is at higher risk. This research could ultimately lead to individually tailored therapy to help prevent new onset diabetes after transplant.

This project is funded through a Stoneygate-Kidney Research UK project grant.

Children’s book creator inspired by own kidney journey.

When designer Georgina Potier created the children’s book, My New Kidney, five years ago in collaboration with senior consultants and play specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital, she had no idea what a huge impact it would have.

The interactive book helps children awaiting a kidney transplant to understand what to expect throughout the process, encouraging them to draw, comment and write questions, so that they can go into surgery feeling less afraid.

Since then, with the help of funding and support from Kidney Research UK, Georgina’s not-for-profit company, Get Better Books, has produced bespoke versions of My New Kidney for several hospitals across the UK.

Georgina, who is a kidney patient herself, was inspired to create the book after becoming concerned about the quality of information being given out to children awaiting a transplant.

“I went to Great Ormond Street Hospital and said I’d love to use my design skills to help children going through it,” says Georgina, who was just seven years old when she had her first transplant – a new right kidney.

“A book like My New Kidney would have been incredibly useful to the seven-year-old me,” she says. “One of the pages shows a bear lying down in bed with the lines you’ll wake up with after your operation on its body. That can be quite overwhelming, but if you’ve seen it in a book before you have it, it’s not as much of a shock.”

Georgina had a second transplant in 2013, 23 years after her first, but unfortunately is now awaiting transplant number three.

“They think that the second kidney had an underlying problem and three years ago my results started to creep up again,” she says. “So now I’m just waiting for that call.”

In the meantime, Georgina is ploughing her energies into Get Better Books, which she runs with illustrator Dr Jake Abrams, her former tutor at Kingston School of Art. Both have been overjoyed by its success; their work has so far helped around 3,500 children with different conditions.

“This has got so much bigger than we ever imagined,” says Georgina. “We’ve got ten projects on the go with Kidney Research UK and having their financial support is definitely a weight off our shoulders. Although the demand is very much there for the books, the problem is finding funding, so Kidney Research UK has been a huge help.

“To be helping all these children is so rewarding.”

For more information on Get Better Books, visit their website.

Big steps towards a wearable kidney.

What if haemodialysis was portable, contained inside something no bigger than a backpack? Transforming treatments such as haemodialysis is one of our key ambitions and a Kidney Research UK-funded team at the University of Edinburgh are making great headway in the search for a ‘wearable kidney’.

Haemodialysis machines have worked to the same principle for decades, with the size of machines and a clean water supply requiring patients to be anchored to them at hospital or at home for several hours at a time.

Peritoneal dialysis is a good option for many patients, but still leads to some lifestyle restrictions. With our support, Professor Grazia De Angelis and her team want to develop newer, improved options for kidney patients and believe that they have reached the final step in creating a workable, wearable kidney.

In current haemodialysis machines, for each treatment many litres of ultrapure water are used to clean the blood, aiming to replace lost kidney function. Designing a portable water regeneration technology inside the system is essential to miniaturise the dialysis machine. Previous attempts at this have relied on chemicals to remove the toxins whereas the Edinburgh team’s innovative technology will use ‘smart’ filters to clean the water so it can be recycled.

The shrink challenge.

Using ultrapure water in haemodialysis reduces the risk of cardiovascular complications, but requires a large volume of water. Creating a recycling system could drastically reduce the amount of water required and remove the need for an external water supply – and haemodialysis could become more easily mobile.

Selecting the right combination of filter materials to be used in the purification process could be the final piece of the jigsaw. But there are thousands of options.

Melina who is mum to Charlie, 12, who has recently started haemodialysis, says: “This is potentially revolutionary. If this came to fruition it could offer patients a semblance of normality and allow them to more readily engage socially which would have such a positive impact on their mental health too. The thought of being able to go to school whilst having treatment…wow.”

Faster answers through AI.

The team will use computer-based technologies including machine learning (a method of artificial intelligence) to analyse which materials might be most suitable to put in the ‘smart’ filter membrane before testing them in the laboratory to identify which are the most efficient and clinically safe to use.

Grazia said: “Machine learning accelerates work which would traditionally take years into just a matter of months.”

“By feeding the computer program as much information as possible about the characteristics of the materials and the toxins that it will need to filter, we can get a quite accurate understanding of whether the chosen substance would perform well in a clinical setting. Then, testing in a lab will not only confirm the findings from the AI program but allows us to introduce fluids from real patients, ensuring that we can be certain that the material will be effective when introduced in a clinical trial setting with real patients.”

Helping patients feel better.

While having a machine that could be more easily used away from hospital or home is highly desirable, Grazia’s research also has the potential to reduce the gruelling side effects of haemodialysis such as fatigue and sickness.

Grazia said: “Dialysis is designed to replicate the blood-filtering function of the kidneys, but a key difference is that a healthy kidney is working all the time while haemodialysis patients only receive treatment three times a week. By the time of their next scheduled treatment not only is their body full of toxins but their blood pressure is very high. Four hours isn’t long enough to be on dialysis in terms of cleaning the blood, but it’s impossible for patients to have haemodialysis 24 hours a day. Having a device that is portable would allow more frequent dialysis over longer periods of time; this could drastically reduce the side effects of the treatment. It could also enable patients to have a degree of control over their own treatment, administering it at a time that suits them.”

The team in Edinburgh hope to have completed shortlisting the best materials in the next two years. From there, laboratory research will confirm the most effective material and the team will be ready to test it in a portable device.

This project is funded through a Stoneygate-Kidney Research UK project grant of £180,000.

Major £3m funding package will combat kidney disease.

This summer we announced a major package of research funding aimed at tackling some of the most prominent issues surrounding kidney disease.

The funding totals more than £3m, and further investment has been secured over the next three years to sustain the momentum in advancing transplantation research.

In June we released a major report into the economic impact of kidney disease, including stark projections of the potential scale of growth of the disease without significant government intervention, including greater research investment.

We will be continuing with our work to call for this greater investment from government, and this funding announcement is a further example of our own ongoing commitment to accelerating research, transforming treatments and changing the lives of kidney patients.

The grants have been made possible through collaboration between Kidney Research UK, the Stoneygate Trust, the Andy Cole Fund and thanks to the ongoing generosity of you, our loyal supporters.

Amongst the total investment, two specific grant calls are named in honour of two individuals who are looking to push the boundaries of kidney research in different ways.

The Professor Michael Nicholson Awards.

The Professor Michael Nicholson Awards have been created in collaboration with the Stoneygate Trust, who want to recognise the significant contribution Professor Nicholson has made to kidney research. His Kidney Research UK-funded project successfully changed the blood type of a human kidney, which we wrote about in our winter issue last year. The project findings have the potential to open up greater opportunities for people from minority ethnic groups (who are more likely to have the rarer, harder to match B blood type) to receive a life-changing transplant.

This year’s £1.57m of awards will be the first of a £4.33m investment by Stoneygate and Kidney Research UK over three years.

Professor Mike Nicholson, Professor of Transplant Surgery at the University of Cambridge says: “We urgently need more scientific research to help reduce waiting times, to make transplants last longer and to create better post-surgery experiences for our patients. These transplant-science focused grants will build the expertise and support the research to make this happen and I’m honoured these awards are being made in my name.”

Looking to build on ongoing investment in Cambridge while also seeking scientists based UK-wide, the awards are designed to drive innovation in transplant science and find novel techniques to improve patient experiences and outcomes following transplant surgery. The programme will additionally support career development, giving young researchers a platform to discover new and innovative methods of transplantation.

The Andy Cole Fund Grant Awards.

The Andy Cole Fund Grant Awards have also been announced within the total grants package. You’ll remember the Manchester United footballing legend launched his fund in partnership with us in 2021. His experience of transplantation and challenges with his own mental health encouraged him to set up the fund.

The first set of grants from the fund totalling £250k will look at transforming transplantation with the aim of enhancing the patient experience and tackling issues around mental health – something that Andy is incredibly passionate about.

Andy Cole says: “I set up the Andy Cole Fund to make a difference. I’m determined that we will find the best ways to support kidney patients’ mental health and improve the transplant experience.

Kidney disease is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. We’ve got to make it better for others and research is the answer. I’m excited to see what projects we can fund through the Andy Cole Fund Grant Awards to help change the game for kidney patients.”

Sandra Currie, chief executive at Kidney Research UK, said: “These awards are particularly special as they celebrate two Sandra Currie individuals who have had a positive impact on improving the lives of kidney patients and show how much can be achieved through collaboration.

“Working with the Stoneygate Trust, Professor Mike Nicholson and Andy Cole has given us the opportunity to fund many more projects than we could as an individual organisation and ultimately develop new innovations and practices that will benefit patients. We are hugely grateful for their support and excited to see applications showing what a difference research could make to patients’ lives.”

We look forward to bringing you news of the successful projects in the new year.

Find out about the different research grants we have available by visiting the research grants section of our website.

Research in action.

Thanks to you, our supporters, we’ve pledged to fund a number of new projects in the last few months. Here’s just a selection, with thoughts from our readers’ panel about the difference they will make.

Calciphylaxis: what can we learn from patient experiences?

Professor Smeeta Sinha from Salford Royal Hospital, and Dr Sharon Huish from the University of Exeter have been awarded a grant of £27,000 from Kidney Research UK and Kidney Wales.

The problem.

The problem: Calciphylaxis is a rare yet serious condition estimated to affect less than 1% of dialysis patients per year, where small blood vessels in and around the skin become blocked by calcium products, causing painful skin ulcers which can lead to serious infections. Sadly, around 5 in 10 people diagnosed will die within 12 months. There is currently no effective treatment, but frequent (as much as daily) dialysis is often recommended. Research is underway into treatments, but there is still much work to be done in relation to patient experiences.

The solution.

Sharon will conduct in-depth interviews of people with calciphylaxis, their families and carers to better understand their lived experience. They will investigate how people with calciphylaxis felt about their diagnosis, treatments, interactions with their healthcare teams, the support that they were offered, and identify areas requiring improvement.

What this might mean for kidney patients.

The team aim to improve calciphylaxis care and to increase awareness. New information will be designed to be accessible to all groups, based on patient experiences and needs.

Mae Smith, kidney patient and our patient involvement manager says: “Not many people know the gruelling side effects of dialysis treatment, and like this condition, some can be fatal. This study will allow patients to vocalise their experiences of this horrible side effect, and will help clinical teams better manage diagnosis, treatment and care of patients experiencing it.”

A new way to measure the burden of dialysis for kidney patients.

Dr David Wellsted from the University of Hertfordshire has been awarded a Kidney Research UK grant of a £82,000.

The problem.

The ‘treatment burden’ of dialysis can be defined as the total impact on a patient’s wellbeing and quality of life. To improve the experiences and quality of life of people on dialysis, it is important to understand what aspects contribute most to this burden.

The solution.

David and his team will find new ways to accurately measure and assess the burden of dialysis. They will study published research on dialysis burden and conduct in-depth one-to-one interviews with patients to better understand the impact that dialysis has on their lives. This information will support development of a new scale for measuring treatment burden. The scale will be tested and modified so that it can be used across the NHS to better understand the impact of dialysis.

What this means for patients:

Currently there is a knowledge gap between people on dialysis and healthcare providers. The new assessment tool developed by David and his team will help clinical teams understand the impact of dialysis, identify where changes may benefit patients, and plan how best to implement improvements.

Paul Davis, dialysis patient says: “During dialysis or appointments, there isn’t always time to chat through things with real explanation or discuss what else we could be doing to enhance our treatment, so this study could be really beneficial. There has to better ways of joining the dots with patients, allowing them ability to talk through their issues.”

What can we learn from female kidneys? A new study into acute kidney injury.

Dr Tanya Smith from Cardiff University has been awarded a Kidney Research UK Clinical Training Fellowship of £100,000.

The problem.

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is when the kidneys suddenly stop working properly. Sometimes they recover, but AKI can lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD). The main cause of AKI is oxygen shortage. There are differences in how male and female kidneys respond to low oxygen levels. In some situations, female kidneys seem to cope better with limited oxygen, suffer less damage, and recover better than male kidneys.

The solution.

Tanya will study the female kidney to find out how and why this occurs. Tanya thinks that there might be differences in a type of cell called the ‘proximal tubular’ cell. These are highly active cells, and especially sensitive to low oxygen levels. By understanding how the cells cope with low oxygen, and studying the differences between men and women, the team hope to support new ways of treating AKI.

What this means for patients.

By studying the ability of female kidneys to withstand low oxygen levels and recover more effectively than male kidneys, Tanya hopes to provide new insights into how to avoid progression to CKD and kidney failure in AKI patients.

Lucy Hatherell, transplant patient says: “I think this research is really important as a female. I suffered an AKI following a C-section which led to chronic kidney disease and then a transplant. If we can prevent AKI developing into CKD it will help so many patients, and I look forward to finding out the results of this research.”

How important is peer support for patients new to dialysis or transplantation?

Dr Anna Winterbottom from St James’s University Hospital, Leeds, received a Kidney Research UK-Stoneygate Award of £48,000.

The problem.

People on dialysis and those receiving a kidney transplant must adopt new routines and restrictions into their daily lives. Information and support are essential to help people cope and adjust to their illness and treatments, but questions remain about the best way to provide this.

The solution.

Anna and her team want to learn more about the role of people with lived experience of kidney disease in helping individuals who are new to dialysis or transplantation this is known as ‘peer support’. Although healthcare professionals help to prepare patients, speaking to someone who has experienced dialysis or transplant can be invaluable. Using interviews and questionnaires, the research team will investigate how peer support can help people cope with, and adjust to, kidney diseases. In particular, Anna will investigate whether matching people with peer supporters of the same ethnicity leads to better outcomes.

What this might mean for kidney patients.

Anna’s team will use the results to support the development of peer support programmes in UK renal units, ensuring consistent, high-quality help and advice for all patients.

Jade Levin, dialysis patient says: “I know how overwhelming it can be, physically and mentally, but also how lonely it can be. I believe if I had someone who was experienced/understood what I was going through to talk to, it would have helped me cope with dialysis more and made me feel less lonely.”

A huge thank you.

Thank you to all our Team Kidney heroes for your help in ending kidney disease. We can’t do it without you!

Walking all over kidney disease.

London and Glasgow, thank you for hosting our Bridges Walks this summer! The two events together saw more than 1,600 supporters walk over the iconic bridges of the two cities, raising over £218,000 to help us end kidney disease. Thank you so much too all the members of Team Kidney who turned out in force and did us proud!

You can register now for breaking news of next year’s exciting events on our website.

Dancing queens.

We’re so grateful to all the pupils at Miss Amy’s Dance Academy in Craigavon, who raised £835 for Kidney Research UK through a raffle at their summer show. They chose to fundraise for us in recognition of three close friends living with kidney disease, including seven-year-old pupil Georgia, who was born with duplex kidneys.

School proprietor Amy Uprichard said: “Despite the struggles she has had with numerous severe infections, hospital stays and other implications that her duplex kidneys have brought to her, Georgia has continued to smile, laugh and dance through it all. It meant a lot to us to be able to support a charity that provides so much research into helping and treating people like Georgia. We really couldn’t think of a better cause to support this year through our show.”

Thank you to all you dancing superstars!

Hole in one for the Andy Cole Fund.

This June the Andy Cole Fund Golf Day at The Shire, London saw 25 teams play a challenging round of golf on the 18-hole Ballesteros Masters course, followed by a dinner, silent auction and exclusive raffle. To top the day off, our ambassador Andy Cole was joined by former England cricketer Owais Shah, renowned Australian racing driver David Brabham and Olympic swimmer Mark Foster for an interactive sports quiz hosted by sports broadcasters Dharmesh Sheth and Adam Leventhal.

Thank you to everyone who supported the event, helping us raise over £40,000 for the Andy Cole Fund. We’re looking forward to announcing the first research projects that have been made possible by the fund in the new year.

Awareness motors forward at festival.

We’d like to thank the Silverstone Festival for helping us spread awareness of kidney disease and connect with the motor racing community at their brilliant event this summer. As the official charity partner to the festival we were able to share vital information about kidney health and the importance of research with the 100,000 festival goers. Amongst our tireless volunteers were former dialysis nurse John Torode and the Andrew Jordan Racing pit crew who drew the crowds with their race to compete in changing an F1 tyre and connecting a dialysis machine to a dummy arm. Thank you to everyone who supported us.


A lasting legacy.

Did you know that over a third of our funding comes from gifts in Wills? We’re so grateful to everyone who helps in this way, including Chris Williams who told us:

“Leaving a bequest to Kidney Research UK was an easy decision. My father was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy in his 30s and throughout his life he participated in clinical research to help ensure future generations would have better access to treatments. Leaving a bequest is my way of remembering his efforts and helping him continue his mission to find better treatments for kidney disease.”

For further information, please send us an email or call 0300 303 1100 and speak to our legacy officer.

Raffle players helping kidney patients everywhere.

We’d like to thank all our amazing raffle players for their support and donations, providing much needed funds for new research.

Mr Clark won one of our £250 prizes and has this message for our readers: “Please support Kidney Research UK’s raffle. I never thought I would win anything, but I did, and a lovely surprise it was too! So keep buying the tickets and support kidney research – you could be next!”

Our big Christmas raffle is live and there are more than 30 prizes worth a total of £10,000! Visit the raffle page on our website to play!

Diary dates.

We’d love to see you at our events – visit our website to register your interest.

Winter Walk and Advent service, Peterborough Cathedral

Sunday 3 December

London Winter Walk

Saturday 27 January 2024

World Kidney Day

Thursday 14 March 2024

Easter 50 Ultra Challenge

Saturday 6 April 2024

London Marathon

Sunday 21 April 2024

London Bridges Walk

date TBC

Glasgow Bridges Walk

date TBC

Great North Run

Sunday 8 September 2024

Skydives and bungee jumps

various dates

Ultra challenges

various dates

Find out more about other ways to support us and get involved: Visit the support page on our website

Leaving a gift to Kidney Research UK in your Will can make a huge difference to future generations.

“As parents of a beautiful baby boy who, sadly, was born with a kidney problem, we and our families support the work of Kidney Research UK at every opportunity. The research they have done in the past is what is benefiting our little boy today and we support them in continuing to carry out this vital research to help Sidney, and others like him, in the future.” Rebecca and Steven, Sidney's parents.

Protect the ones you love by making a Will using our expert, free Will service. Visit the Farewill website

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