The recent announcement that the Bladder and Bowel Foundation (B&BF) has closed highlights the vulnerability of smaller charities who are dedicated to less high profile health conditions.

As the national charity for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and those experiencing continence and other related problems, The IBS Network knows only too well the challenges faced at this time by smaller charities.

Alison Reid, Chief Executive Officer of The IBS Network commented, “We were really sad to hear that the Bladder and Bowel Foundation, which offered excellent assistance to people with incontinence issues, has ceased trading.  It is a huge loss for our community of people with ‘unglamorous’ and less well-known medical conditions and reflects the need we identified to adopt a commercial approach if we are to continue to operate successfully as a charity.

The IBS Network has provided support to patients and healthcare professionals for over 25 years.  It receives its funding from various sources, including: annual memberships; an online shop, for purchasing the ‘Can’t Wait’ card, Radar keys and other useful aids, in addition to income from fundraising events and legacies.


At any one time, IBS affects around 15% of people living in the UK, which equates to approximately 12 million people.  The illness is used to describe a collection of otherwise unexplained symptoms relating to a disturbance in the bowels, which can include abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.

For more information on The IBS Network visit their official website: or to read the benefits in becoming a member please see What We Offer Our Members for more details on the Core Services, support and the Self Care program.