Hearty boost for town health fight

HARTLEPOOL has secured a £100,000 boost in the fight against heart disease.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has awarded the money to Hartlepool Borough Council and Hartlepool PCT for them to work with local schools.

Charity chiefs say they want to give children extra knowledge to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.

The Hearty Lives Hartlepool; Younger and Wiser project will start in September.

It will encourage children and young people to get involved in physical activity, eat well and lead healthier lifestyles.

It will be aimed at seven to 14-year-olds and will raise awareness of the key risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease.

The BHF will provide its own resources to help with physical activity, education and healthy eating.

Drama workshops will also be used to explore the tobacco industry and the tactics it uses to recruit and retain young smokers to use its products.

The award to Hartlepool is part of the BHF’s £10m nationwide Hearty Lives programme, which is the first time the heart charity has worked in partnership with local NHS services and local authorities to tackle geographical inequalities in heart disease.

It comes after Hartlepool Borough Council signed up as one of the first places in the UK to become a BHF Heart Town as part of the charity’s Mending Broken Hearts Appeal.

Heart Towns are a new BHF initiative which brings communities together through local fundraising and volunteering as well as raising awareness of heart disease.

As part of the Heart Town initiative, an open day will take place at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, on Friday, July 1, from 10am-4pm.

The BHF and the council are encouraging everyone to come along to support the Heart Town initiative and celebrate the Hearty Lives funding.

There will be experts on hand to offer advice on quitting smoking, chest pain awareness, sports development and other heart information.

Heart health checks from heart nurses will also be available and people can find out more about getting involved with the BHF and volunteering.

Fiona Turner, BHF fundraising volunteer manager in Hartlepool, said: “We are thrilled to be investing so much money, time and resources into Hartlepool. We hope that people in the town will come along to the open day and support our initiative. If not, we would love people to wear red or organise a fundraising event to support us.”

For more information, contact Fiona on (01642) 562162 or email turnerf@bhf.org.uk