Our history

Since the charity was founded by Elizabeth Ward OBE in 1975, Kidney Care UK has been at the forefront of supporting people with chronic kidney disease.

From our early days when we campaigned to introduce donor cards in the UK, we have worked hard to support and represent the interests of everyone affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD).

We continue to provide practical, emotional and financial support, work with health professionals to improve health and care services and campaign for change.

We are here for the young and the old, for those struggling to make ends meet, for families and loved ones and we fight tirelessly for the rights of kidney patients.


Elizabeth Ward's son Timbo begins dialysis aged 17. Elizabeth pledges herself to helping kidney patients.


Elizabeth Ward encourages Secretary of State for Health, Sir Keith Joseph, to introduce the Kidney Donor Card.


The British Kidney Patient Association (BKPA) launches at the Institute of Directors.


The Granada TV Appeal raises £1/2 million (3,429 bags of stamps and coins).


The Duke of Westminster becomes Patron of BKPA.


Auction for BKPA held at Sotheby's. Lot 41 was donated by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.


HRH The Duke of Edinburgh opens the BKPA's and UK's first-ever holiday dialysis centre at Bracklesham Bay.


Diana, Princess of Wales, opens the new BKPA-funded Paediatric Renal Unit at Yorkhill Hospital, Glasgow.


BKPA sets up holiday dialysis centres in France and Mallorca, run by British nurses.


Timbo loses his life to kidney disease.


Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra opens Timbo Ward Paediatric Renal Unit at Guy's Hospital, London.


BKPA launches the first School Education Pack on kidney disease with support of the secretary of State for Education.


BKPA funds the National Organ Donor Scheme's first TV commercial on Carlton TV, reaching 8 million people.


Birmingham Children's Hospital renal unit opens with £750,000 funding from BKPA.


Crawley Dialysis Unit receives a BKPA grant of over £5 million.


BKPA becomes a major sponsor of the British Transplant Games.


Lord Coe and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson open the BKPA-funded new Children's Kidney Centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital.


BKPA partners with The Royal College of GPs to improve diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease at primary care level.


BKPA is relaunched as Kidney Care UK.


For the first time, Kidney Care UK raises more than £1m of non-legacy income.


The charity exceeds 100,000 unique visits per month to its website and is awarded PIF TICK accreditation.