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BHF is first UK charity to take donations via Amazon Alexa

23 Oct 2018 News

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has announced that from today people can donate money and unwanted items using Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa. 

From today people can arrange to have their old furniture and electrical items collected using Alexa-enable devices such as the Amazon Echo. 

BHF has launched an Alexa skill – a function that can be downloaded from an app store – that will allow people to arrange for the collection of unwanted furniture or make a donation. 

Users can activate the skill by saying "Alexa, ask British Heart Foundation to collect my furniture,” or “Alexa, open British Heart Foundation and donate money.”

After a donation is made, Alexa users hear the story of Rebecca Shorrocks, 36, who was diagnosed with ARVC, a rare genetic disease of the heart muscle in February 2017 that puts her at a high risk of suffering a cardiac arrest and has been fitted with an internal defibrillator. 

Simon Gillespie, chief executive at the BHF, said it was “an incredibly exciting time”.

“More people than ever own a digital assistant like the Amazon Echo and it’s really exciting for our supporters to be able to use their device to support lifesaving heart research," he said. "We’re constantly adapting as an organisation to be where our supporters are and to give people choice to make donating as easy as possible.”

BHF’s chair, Doug Gurr, is the UK country manager for Amazon. He said: “We hope connecting millions of Alexa customers to the BHF will make a real and positive difference to the seven million people living with cardiovascular disease in the UK today.” 

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