Monday 11 November 2002

CAN’T BUY ME LOVE?

Over three quarters of women think that Valentine’s Day is too commercial, according to a new survey by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).   Yet despite this, women still want their partner to acknowledge the day with a material gesture.

More than a quarter of women (29%) expect a card or gift to mark the Day and just under half of those polled (47%) want their partner to take them away on a romantic break.  However, it seems the traditional declaration of true love is out of favour, with only 2% of women wanting their partner to propose on February 14 and only 10% wanting to hear the words ‘I love you’.

To provide a solution to the commercial dilemma, British Heart Foundation Shops are launching the first ever range of charity Valentine’s Day cards and gifts, with all profits going towards the fight against heart disease.

BHF Shops are also inviting people to declare their love in a more unusual way this year – with a ‘Love Note’. For a suggested £1 donation, lovers can pen a message to their Valentine and post it in the window of their local BHF Shop for all to see on the high street. The BHF hope to completely cover their shop windows with these messages and with over 440 shops throughout the UK almost every local community can get involved.

Top celebrities are supporting the ‘Love Note’ initiative and have written their own versions:

Gary Lineker says: “Love is caring about someone more than you care about yourself.”

Angela Rippon says: “Love is the difference between loneliness and joy.”

Fern Britton says: “Love is a cup of tea in bed made by your husband! A little loving everyday makes the world’s heart beat better.”

Chris Tarrant says: “Love is letting her handle your fishing rod.”

Linda Barker says: “Love is when you can still smile at a grumpy chippie!

Carol Smillie says: “Love is pretending not to notice how often he’s on the golf course.

Michael Parkinson says: “Love is what we need – is love.”

Graham Norton says: “Love is doing it five nights a week – no really!”

The BHF Shops activity is part of a wider campaign, ‘Take Note of Your Heart’, by the BHF to increase awareness of the importance of heart health amongst women.  Every year almost four times as many women die from heart disease as from breast cancer yet knowledge of the disease and awareness of the risk factors is low.

A new women’s web site, which can be accessed via www.bhf.org.uk, and an educational booklet are being launched to offer women more information on heart health.  Alternatively, people can call the campaign hotline: 0870 9090111 for a free information pack.