Simplyhealth has agreed to substantially increase the target for its donation to Heart Research UK to £150,000 after raising £30,000 through its Facebook page in just four weeks.

Clare Lee, Head of Brand at Simplyhealth says: “It’s great that people have raised £30,000 for Heart Research UK through our Facebook page. The response has been fantastic, and we’ve been listening to the many comments that people have made about their own experiences of dental health and heart disease.

“We feel that there is more we can do to support Heart Research UK which is why we’re increasing the target for the donation to £150,000. This is a huge step, but the suggested link between dental health and heart health needs further research. With this money a research project that helps us all understand more about how our dental health can affect our heart could become a reality. We’re also going to transfer all of the ‘Likes’ we had on Facebook before this campaign to give this next stage a kick start.”

Simplyhealth’s television advert, which launched on 17 September, prompts viewers to go to the Simplyhealth UK Facebook page and click “Like”. By doing so, they can read highlights of research from medical institutes, read free health guides on dental health and heart health, and watch videos with experts. Simplyhealth has donated £1 to Heart Research UK for every “Like” it has received so far.

Heart Research UK has been funding medical research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease for 45 years. It also encourages healthy heart lifestyles and wants communities to have happier, healthier and longer lives.

Barbara Harpham, Director at Heart Research UK says: “I am overwhelmed by the response and looking at the comments on Facebook, you can see that people of all ages are really behind this campaign. The link is not well known so it has made people think about how important it is to brush well and look after their heart. Thank you to everyone who has given Heart Research UK and Simplyhealth the encouragement and support to go ahead with this important research.”

Simplyhealth and Heart Research UK will be working together to develop an award process for researchers who feel they have a relevant research project in mind. All submissions will undergo a strict peer review by UK experts and those around the world. The process for the project will adhere to all guidelines set out by the Association of Medical Research Charities.

Simplyhealth has been helping people access affordable healthcare for 140 years. It provides health cash plans, dental plans and private health insurance to individuals, families and businesses.

Simplyhealth Independent Living provides mobility products and daily living aids.