This site uses cookies. You can read how we use them in our privacy policy.

pulmonary fibrosis

and infection

sign up to receive our news and updates

  • This form collects your name and email address so that we can keep you updated with news and information about Breathing Matters. Please check our Privacy Policy to see how we protect and manage your data.


  • Related articles
  • Categories
  • Archives

Carrying on with COVID-19

It is fair to say the world has changed in 2020 since the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak in December 2019.

Many of our research team have volunteered to work on the NHS frontline at this very busy time but, despite this, Breathing Matters is still continuing its important research work in interstitial lung diseases, pulmonary fibrosis, bronchiectasis and lung infections.

COVID-19 disease is caused by the SARS-Cov-2 virus. SARS means severe acute respiratory syndrome. So, Breathing Matters is joining the national effort in trying to find out as much as possible about this new virus; the more we know, the quicker we will have better treatments, less deaths, decreased shielding and ultimately a vaccine.

Our new studies will include researching new therapeutic agents and understanding the long-term damage to lungs in patients who have recovered from COVID-19, and perhaps give us more insights into the origins of IPF and other fibrotic lung diseases.

The funding we continue to receive from our supporters is vital to our community and to our future. Thank you so much for continuing to support our important work. Donations can be given in different ways:

I am sure you would like to join us in saluting our extraordinary team who are working tirelessly in helping the nation, both on the frontline and in the labs.

Our very best wishes goes to every one of you. Please keep safe and stay alert.


COVID-19 and Impact on Charities

There have already been several surveys looking at the impact of coronavirus on charities. Help save the UK Charities!

The Institute of Fundraising in partnership with the Charity Finance Group and National Council for Voluntary Organisations have conducted research on the impact of the crisis on over 500 charities surveyed with the following findings:

  • Charities are reporting a projected loss of 48% to their voluntary income, and a third wiped off from their total income.
  • 52% of charities have reduced existing or previous levels of service, with a further 12% intending to in the future.
  • 83% say that the most important thing for their organisation’s sustainability over the coming 3 to 6 months is access to emergency grant funding.
  • 84% of charities think their organisation could play a role in responding to the coronavirus outbreak, with the majority saying that government funding was needed to help them to do so.
  • 91% of charities surveyed have already or expect to have their cash flow disrupted, with 62% indicating that these would result in reduced charitable activity.

Small Charities Coalition (SCC) findings:

  • Eight of ten small charities (80%) have had to alter or drop services.
  • Only one in five (20%) small charities are able to provide normal services because of the pandemic.
  • One in ten small charities expect to make redundancies.
  • Less than four in ten (37%) had set up remote working.

Looking specifically at London-based charities, London Plus released research which highlights (lowlights!):

  • Four in five charities are impacted by the coronavirus.
  • 43% said they have had staff absences due to coronavirus.
  • 59% of respondents agreed coronavirus has had a notable impact upon the sector.

[Article from Institute of Fundraising, 20.4.20]

Breathing Matters Joins the 2.6 Challenge to Save UK Charities

Breathing Matters calls on supporters to join The 2.6 Challenge on Sunday 26 April 2020

Breathing Matters, like so many charities across the UK, has been hugely impacted by the cancellation of thousands of fundraising events due to COVID-19.

In response, the organisers of the biggest mass participation sports events across the country have come together to create a new campaign to raise vital funds to help our fundraising and save the UK’s charities.

The campaign, The 2.6 Challenge, will launch on Sunday 26 April 2020 – what should have been the date of the 40th London Marathon, the world’s biggest one day annual fundraising event, which raised £66.4 million for charities in 2019.  The challenge will last for a week. The 2.6 Challenge is open to anyone of any age – the only requirement is that the activity must follow the Government guidelines on exercise and social distancing and remember to stay local.

From Sunday 26 April 2020, we are asking you to dream up an activity based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 and fundraise by donating on the Breathing Matters’ 2.6 Challenge donation page or by creating your own 2.6 Challenge fundraising page from the Breathing Matters Justgiving home page.

The 2.6 Challenge can be anything that works for you,” says Nick Rusling, Co-Chair of the Mass Participation Sports Organisers group (MSO) and CEO of Human Race. “You can run or walk 2.6 miles, 2.6km or for 26 minutes. You could do the same in your home or garden, go up and down the stairs 26 times, juggle for 2.6 minutes, do a 26 minute exercise class or get 26 people on a video call and do a 26 minute workout – anything you like. We want people to get active, have fun and raise money to help Save the UK’s Charities by giving money or raising funds for the charity close to your heart.”

“For many of the UK’s charities, the day of the London Marathon is the biggest fundraising day of the year,” said Hugh Brasher, Co-Chair of MSO and Event Director of London Marathon Events. “One of the founding pillars of the London Marathon was ‘to show how the family of mankind can be united’. We hope that The 2.6 Challenge, which starts on the day our 40th Race should have taken place, will embody that spirit and inspire people, families and communities to fundraise for their chosen charity to help Save the UK’s Charities. Right now, our vulnerable members of society need the help of charities more than ever before..”

Donna Basire, Fundraising Manager from Breathing Matters said “This event could really be a lifesaver to so many as money raised for Breathing Matters funds research into respiratory conditions such as pulmonary fibrosis, COVID-19, bronchiectasis and pneumonia.  You can do this at your own pace and in your own house or garden – so the challenge is open to everyone. All we ask is that you donate £26 to the Breathing Matters 2.6 Challenge page, or set up your own page and have your own target to raise – could you raise £260?”.

The mass-participation events organisers behind The 2.6 Challenge are: Human Race, parkrun, The Great Run Company, Run 4 Wales, Grounded Events, London Landmarks, Virgin Sport, Limelight Sports, Threshold Sports, Running High and London Marathon Events. The design and website has been created by Studio Republic and the social media campaign by LiveWire Sport. Both agencies are working pro bono.  The campaign is supported by the Charities Aid Foundation, the Institute of Fundraising, the Small Charities Coalition, the Office for Civil Society, Sport England, Let’s Do This, Virgin Money Giving and JustGiving.

For more information on The 2.6 Challenge, visit

Virtual Fundraising Challenges

For you lovely people out there who are itching to fundraise, but have not been able to during the COVID-19 pandemic – this is especially for you!

Our event partners, Run for Charity, have just launched a virtual challenge series for young and old, for the fit and not that fit.  It’s a great way of making the most of your time in isolation, having a purpose and keeping/getting fit.  It  is a unique chance for those non-marathon runners to get involved and run/walk a marathon or climb a mountain at your own pace.  And you can win a medal at the end (we all love a good medal!).

Here is a list of our current virtual challenges:

Climb Everest – A 12 week challenge perfect for isolation. Challengers will have to complete a climb equivalent to Mount Everest (8,848m) either out and about on your daily exercise, climbing the stairs indoors, or a combination of the two!

Inca Trail – A virtual challenge to tick off the bucket list. A 25 mile run, walk or jog to be completed in as many efforts as you can manage.

Team Gotham – Not all Superheros wear capes….some have to fight crime in isolation too! This is a 5K challenge, so perfect for families who want to complete it together, or anyone looking to stay fit during lockdown.

The Big Charity Run – The ultimate challenge; you can choose your own.  Pick a 30, 60, 90 or 120 mile distance to complete over a single month. You can run, walk or cycle, so perfect for setting an ambitious target and staying motivated!

Plus there are lots of location specific races that you could join, including:

  • Richmond Park – Half Marathon
  • Tatton Park – 10K
  • Victoria Park – 5K, 10K & Half Marathon
  • Brixton – 5K & 10K
  • Wimbledon Common – Half Marathon

All you need to do is choose your challenge, register and start.

  1. Choose and register here. Receive confirmation email to log in to our Secure Charity Portal.  Payment covers the cost of the place and medal only.
  2. Breathing Matters will get notification that you have signed up for your challenge and will contact you  Or you can contact us directly at
  3. Set up a Breathing Matters personal fundraising page.  It is up to you how much you want to raise for Breathing Matters; there is no minimum sponsorship limit.
  4. All you need to do is gather evidence along the way of your challenge (eg. photo of your fitness tracker, Strava) and, once completed, simply email it to

Your medal will be sent out by our partner in the post.

Run for Charity have partnered with one of the top virtual events companies in the UK, ‘My Race’, who have been producing and fulfilling Virtual Events for many years, so you are in safe hands.

All funds raised will go towards much needed research into pulmonary fibrosis,  COVID-19, bronchiectasis and lung infection.

So you can keep safe, stay alert, social distance, and do something worthwhile at the same time!

What are you waiting for? …


Call for Help from Ex-Inpatients with COVID-19

URGENT call to patients that have been admitted to hospital with diagnosed COVID-19.
We need your immediate help in writing a protocol for a COVID-19 clinical trial.
Please email us on and we will email you back with questions.
Thank you in advance.




In Memory Page

Thank you for visiting the Breathing Matters website to find out how to set up an ‘In Memory’ page.

You can set up an ‘In Memory’ page from our donation home page.  You can then share your personal donation page with friends and family. On this page, you can share memories, stories and photographs. You could also include details of a thanksgiving service. Your friends and family can add their sentiments too along with their donations and you can easily see what they have written and how much you have raised.

An ‘In Memory’ page is a way to let the memory of your loved one live on and is a wonderful way of celebrating their life. As well as being an online memorial in which you can share memories, stories and photographs, the funds raised through your page go directly to Breathing Matters and will help others affected by pulmonary fibrosis and other interstitial lung diseases plus COVID-19, bronchiectasis and other lung infections, and will help our work to continue in their memory.

You can keep your page open for as long as you wish too by adjusting the settings, so you can keep adding to your donations in the future or help promote fundraising if you are doing an event to commemorate your loved one. Your donation page is easy to share online so can be a good way to publicise and gather support for an event.

Your ‘In Memory’ page is created and maintained by you as a space to remember your friend or relative in your own way.

Thank you – giving a gift in memory is a very special way to remember your loved one.


Funeral Donations

If you are organising a collection in memory of a loved one and would like to donate to Breathing Matters to help us continue our important research work, we humbly thank you for thinking of us.

Organising a Collection

Many prefer to donate money in lieu of funeral flowers.

You can organise an online collection by setting up a personal donation page from our donation home page and then sharing your personal donation page with friends and family. On this page, you can share memories, stories and photographs with family and friends. You could also include details of a funeral or thanksgiving service. Your friends and family can add their sentiments too along with their donations.

The money raised will go directly to Breathing Matters and your donors will be given the option of giving Gift Aid which will increase their donations by 25%. You can also easily see how much has been raised in memory of your loved one.

Sending in Donations

Some family and friends may make donations by cheque or cash and your Funeral Director may collect these at the service.  When paying in donations, we would like to make sure that we process and acknowledge the donation correctly and it would be very helpful if you or the Funeral Director let us know:
• The name of the person the donation is being made in memory of.
• Your name, address and relationship to your loved one.

Please send all cheques to:
Breathing Matters
Rayne Institute, UCL
5 University Street
London WC1E 6JF

Feel free to print out our Gift Aid Certificate, which increases donations by 25%.

If you need any more information or if you need our bank details to directly transfer donations, please contact us on

Thank you – your donations will make a huge impact to our research work!


Spring 2020 Newsletter – Coronavirus Quiz Answers

Can a face mask protect you from the virus?

Currently, there is not enough evidence for or against the use of masks (medical or other) in healthy individuals in the wider community. However, WHO is actively studying the rapidly evolving science on masks and continuously updates its guidance.  Medical masks are recommended primarily in health care settings, but can be considered in other circumstances (see WHO guidelines). Medical masks should be combined with other key infection prevention and control measures such as hand hygiene and physical distancing.

What is the official name of this coronavirus?

SARS-Cov-2.  This virus causes the disease called COVID-19.  ‘COVID’ = COronaVIrusDisease. 19 from the year it was identified.

How long should you wash your hands for?

You should wash your hands for 20 seconds – two verses of ‘Happy Birthday To You’.

What is the NHS Helpline number?


To get help from NHS 111, you can:

  • Go to (for people aged 5 and over only)
  • Call 111

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, you can:


How do you protect yourself from the coronavirus?

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
    Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
  • Maintain at least 2 metre (6 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
    Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the coronavirus if the person coughing has the disease.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
    Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
    Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from the virus.
  • Self-isolate by staying at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache, low grade fever (37.3 C or above) and slight runny nose, until you recover. If it is essential for you to have someone bring you supplies or to go out, e.g. to buy food, then wear a mask to avoid infecting other people.
    Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
  • If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travellers.
    Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.

Information taken from

Updated advice from 26.5.20: 

Stay alert.

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Information taken from:

Spring 2020 Newsletter

Coronavirus – Update for Respiratory Patients

The novel coronavirus seems now to have established community transmission in the UK.  This means that people are catching the virus without having come across someone who had been in a high risk country such as Northern Italy, Iran or China. 

Fortunately, the numbers of people affected in the UK are relatively small as of 11th March 2020, so the risk of catching this disease is not that high.  COVID-19 is best thought of as like the usual respiratory viruses you can catch in winter and which can cause exacerbations of your underlying lung condition. In a minority, COVID-19 can also cause pneumonia directly.

If you have been in contact with someone who has recently been to a high risk part of the world or who has tested positive for COVID-19 infection, the Department of Health and British Lung Foundation websites will give you the advice you need to follow. Essentially, you should self-isolate for 14 days, and if you develop a fever or a cough, you will need to be tested for the coronavirus.

Testing for the coronavirus is best done by someone coming to your home rather than you travelling outside of your home, and the 111 helpline should be able to arrange this for you.

Now that the coronavirus is established in the UK, if you have underlying chronic lung disease, you will need to take care to avoid the infection.  This will mean avoiding people as much as possible (that is, not using public transport at busy periods, avoiding crowds, perhaps working from home) and scrupulous hand cleansing (as advised by the Department of Health).  This is especially important if you have severe lung disease – that is lung disease that makes you breathless when walking about – as COVID-19 infection is a particular risk if the lungs are already badly affected by another disease. If you get symptoms of a cough and fever, you may need to use the treatments you would normally use if you have an exacerbation, eg. increase your inhalers, perhaps start antibiotics.  You can ring 111 to arrange for someone to test you for the virus.  However, if your breathing is deteriorating significantly, you may have to come to the hospital to be treated.

British Lung Foundation:
Department of Health: