The Community & Educational Trust at Southend United Football Club (SUCET) has partnered with the national charity Heart Research UK in a bid to inspire local children and their families to look after their hearts.
The Trust has been awarded a £9,250 grant to deliver the ‘Heart of the Community’ project, with its community coaches set to work with local schoolchildren in years five and six to build up their awareness and understanding of how the body works, the importance of the heart, and how they can take practical steps to help improve their overall health and heart health.
Six weeks of fun sport and physical activity sessions, workshops around healthy lifestyles and life-saving skills such as basic CPR will be provided for the 1,200 pupils taking part in the project, and they will be offered free tickets to attend heart health-themed matchdays at the club.
A first team player from Southend will be appointed as a project ambassador and the Trust will work closely with the Club to drive a heart health awareness campaign throughout 2021.
Sarah Mirfin, Healthy Heart Coordinator at Heart Research UK, said: “We are seeing a decline in physical activity amongst school-aged children, with only one in five achieving 60 active minutes each day. Physical activity has a big impact on health and happiness both now and in the future.
“We are thrilled to be supporting the project and cannot wait to see the fun interactive games inspire groups of children who might not normally get involved in sport.”
Angus Martin, Project Officer at SUCET, said: “We are grateful to Heart Research UK and Subway for the funding to enable young children to get more active, eat better and understand why this is good for their health. We also want to give them the confidence and skills to recognise when someone has had a cardiac arrest and to perform basic CPR.
“Our vison is to get into communities and inspire them to live a healthier, happier, longer life. We are so excited about the project and cannot wait to get started.”