Gateshead Older People’s Assembly has been granted over £8,000 by Heart Research UK for their new project which promotes and provides wellbeing opportunities to people over the age of 50.
The Gateshead-based charity works to support older people in areas of their life such as physical and mental health, personal development, and digital confidence. Their new program focuses specifically on heart health and includes a variety of activities. One of these is a quarterly Healthy Hearts Showcase event, where they will provide a range of free taster activities and information around healthy hearts.
Another part of the programme is a weekly ‘walk and talk’, delivered by a walk leader, where participants can explore their local green spaces and connect with like-minded people. Each week, the walk will finish at a café or community venue where the walk leader will deliver a session on a topic related to heart health. The walks will have a different meeting point each week, which will enable the project to reach participants across different areas of Gateshead.
Nicola Bruce, Health and Wellbeing Manager at Gateshead Older People’s Assembly, says:
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of older people have become less active, leading to deconditioning and a loss in confidence. Walking is something that many of our beneficiaries have named as a desired activity as they feel more confident walking in a group. With it being outside there is also a feeling of safety for many as there is a lower risk of contracting Covid-19.”
As part of the programme, there will also be a weekly 45-minute exercise class delivered via Zoom for anyone who might be shielding, does not feel confident exercising in a group, or simply does not have the time or ability to travel.
Each participant in the programme will receive a Healthy Hearts resource pack. This contains information on how to improve heart health, such as easy to implement advice around healthy eating, stress management, alcohol consumption and smoking cessation.
The money for the grant was raised through Heart Research UK’s partnership with Subway, through in-store donations across the country. Since 2001, Heart Research UK has awarded over 300 community grants, directly benefiting the hearts of over 70,000 individuals and countless wider community and family members across all regions of the UK.
Dr Helen Flaherty, Head of Health Promotion and Education at Heart Research UK, said:
“We know that Covid-19 has led to many people being less physically active which isn’t good for the heart. This project is a great initiative to promote heart health to people over the age of 50 and we’re proud to be supporting it.”
If you’d like to find out more about the Healthy Heart Grants, please visit https://heartresearch.org.uk/healthy-heart-grants/