Kids Kidney Research

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Kids Kidney Research


Kids Kidney Research and Kidney Research UK (formerly National Kidney Research Fund) have been the only two UK organisations with an exclusive focus on renal research funding.

Kids Kidney Research  began fundraising  as the West London Kidney Research Fund in 1967, became the Kidney Research Action Fund in 1976, and then was rebranded as Kids Kidney Research in 2006.  Kids Kidney Research  completed a merger   with Kidney Research UK in 2017.

Stewart Cameron in his History of the Renal Association recalls that about the same time that NKRF was launched in 1966, the Renal Association’s secretary John Soothill (a paediatrician at Great Ormond Street Hospital) deputised for Hugh de Wardener at a discussion with Mrs E Silverman MBE, and Michael F Legg about raising funds for research directed at kidney disease in children. As a result of that meeting the West London Kidney Research Fund was formed in 1967, with a specific focus on supporting renal research in children. It became the Kidney Research Action Fund in 1976 and for some years was closely linked with Great Ormond Street Hospital, whose renal researchers were the main beneficiaries of the fund. The fund grew significantly, developed a rigorous grants review process, and increasingly invited and funded research proposals from other UK paediatric centres.  By the turn of the century it was providing annual research funding of c.£400,000. The fund was rebranded in 2006 as Kids Kidney Research

Merger  of  Kids Kidney Research and Kidney Research UK

The merger of KKR with Kidney Research UK (KRUK) was a gradual process with eventually a smooth path and very satisfactory outcome.  In 2012 Sandra Currie, the new Kidney Research UK chief executive, had a first discussion with  Richard  Trompeter, chair of Kids Kidney Research, about the possibility of the two charities working together. This began slowly with small gestures of collaboration, for example offering  places for the KKR runners in the KRUK team for the London Marathon. Continuing conversations   as the two charities became closer eventually led to a meeting in 2017 between Sandra Currie and the board of KKR, at which it was agreed to move to a formal merger.  To achieve the merger arrangements needed to be agreed for issues including finances and governance, research grant rounds, data handling and digital platforms, supporter engagement, and communications. A  Memorandum of Understanding was signed in February 2017, and the merger was completed in September 2017 with acceptance by the Charities Commission. The Kids Kidney Research  name and logo are still utilised by Kidney Research UK, which has committed to running an annual research grant round of at least £500,000 restricted to paediatric research.  This round is partially funded from the KKR reserves, partially with new funding from Kidney Research UK.  Any legacies still received for KKR are restricted for  the paediatric grant round.  To ensure proper representation of paediatric perspectives, one trustee of Kidney Research UK will always be a paediatric nephrologist.


John Feehally

Richard Trompeter

Last Updated on January 22, 2024 by John Feehally