The Community Trust of Blackpool Football Club has confronted some worrying health statistics amongst its local population with a programme aimed at improving the physical and mental wellbeing of women during lockdown.
According to data from Public Health England, Blackpool has some of the highest premature mortality rates (death under age 75) in England for coronary heart disease, with 64% of adults in the town classed as overweight or obese, and more than half classed as physically inactive.
In response, the Trust has been running a programme, supported by a £10,000 grant from Heart Research UK and Subway, aimed at encouraging female adults to engage in activities that will support their mental and physical health.
Despite Covid-19 restrictions, community activities began in September and were delivered virtually. These online activities involve live work-outs and recorded sessions for the women to participate in.
As and when restrictions are relaxed, more new activity is planned for the future with chair-based activities aimed at those with reduced mobility, as well as a new Team Talk programme aimed at female football fans.
Jason White, Head of Community Programmes at Blackpool FC Community Trust, explained: “This is a really exciting opportunity for us to support more people in the community, particularly during these tough times, while at the same time raising awareness around the importance of a healthy heart and lifestyle.”
Helen Flaherty, Head of Health Promotion and Education at Heart Research UK, added: “At Heart Research UK, we are delighted to work with Blackpool FC Community Trust on a project aimed at inspiring women to get involved with physical activity and improve their heart health.
“For many people, Covid-19 has resulted in fewer opportunities for physical activity and community engagement. Therefore, it is fantastic to see how this community project will help people to focus on improving their health and wellbeing at such a challenging time.”