Spring Into Action Secure Funding to Improve Heart Health

31st July 2013 - posted by Lucy Hamlin

A new social enterprise set up to help people with learning disabilities to live a more enriching life, has been successful in gaining funding to set up Fit & Food, a project designed to help adults with learning disabilities to improve their heart health.

The project, which starts in September aims to improve the health and wellbeing of adults aged 16+ with learning disabilities and specialist needs to make small changes in their daily lives to support behaviour change towards better heart health. The project will provide a weekly social club, and will support behaviour change through education, information and fun activities, all which will create positive attitudes towards taking responsibility for heart health with peer support.

The project, part funded by The Big Lottery and a British Heart Foundation Help A Heart grant will be run from Spring Hill Community Centre in Accrington on Mondays 10am – 3pm and cost just £10 for the full day. Activities will include exercise, cook and eat sessions and arts and crafts activities. Rachael McHugh, Director of Spring into Action said: “This is a great project for anyone with a disability to learn how to make small steps to improve their overall health and wellbeing. We will provide practical advice and fun activities that can be done by our clients and also taken home to continue making changes to improve their health.”

The project will enable clients to build up networks of friends and trusted staff; allow them to try out fun and exciting activities in a social setting; to experience exercise, cooking and eating together and provide a platform to make new friends who have similar interests. Lucy Hamlin, Director said: “ The project will create more positive attitudes towards health by giving clients information about the short and long term benefits of healthy lifestyles and its impact on wellbeing and heart health. We are really excited about this project and will also be engaging with our clients’ networks of family and carers who can help them to make changes in their daily lives.”

The project, which starts on 9th September, is seeking referrals to the project and also embarking on a volunteer recruitment drive. Rachael adds: “We are looking to recruit volunteers to this project to assist us in the delivery of Fit & Food. We are seeking enthusiastic people from all walks of life who have a real interest in healthy lifestyles, and who can assist us to provide a great service.” Potential volunteers are being asked to apply during July, with informal interviews taking place in August.