Our History

In 1970, the Council of the British Society of Gastroenterology first considered founding a charity to promote research in this speciality. A steering group, chaired by their President at the time, Dr Nelson Coghill, compiled facts and figures which established the importance of digestive disorders as a national health problem. Using this evidence as a basis for appeal, a Digestive Disorders Trust Fund was established in June 1971.

Dr Thomas Hunt, a founder member of the British Society of Gastroenterology, agreed to launch the new charity. He succeeded in attracting prominent lay and professional support. By 1974 its funds were sufficient to award the first research fellowship and to inaugurate the charity as a Foundation with Dr Hunt as its first President. On his death in 1980, Sir Francis Avery Jones took over the presidency for the next 12 years. Important landmarks during this time were the appointment of the first full-time director, expansion of research support and the development of the successful patient information programme.

British Digestive Foundation
Sir Arthur Hurst Centenary Committee 1978-1979
Clockwise from left: Sir Francis Avery Jones, Mrs. T. Hunt, Prof. Michael Hobsley, Christopher Hurst, Dr. Richard Tonkin, Dr. William Mann, Dr. Thomas Hunt, Major H. Mitchell, Lionel Goldhill, Dr. Martin Sarner, Prof. Bryan Brooke, Mrs. W. Mann
Our Research Impact 2020


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