Rotherham United’s development community programme has produced some impressive results after teaching disabled adults about looking after their hearts thanks to a grant from Yorkshire-based national charity Heart Research UK.
Rotherham United Community Sports Trust’s (RUCST) “Fit for Life” project has helped one participant, 28-year-old Andrew Seymour, lose over two stones throughout the course, as well as reducing his BMI from 41.5 to 37.5.
The project, funded with a £10,000 Healthy Heart Grant from Heart Research UK, helped 54 adults with physical, sensory and learning impairments or people with poor mental health become more independent and lead healthier lives.
Figures show that 28.3% of adults in Rotherham are obese which is higher than the National
average of 24.2%.
The two weekly sessions that ran throughout the year were split into providing fitness opportunities such as circuit training, and educating participants about the benefits of diet changes, nutrition and making healthier lifestyle choices which would all contribute to the prevention of heart disease.
Success was measured in waist and weight loss but also in how the programme positively tackled some issues disabled people were facing in Rotherham such as inaccessible facilities, health inequalities and social exclusion whilst delivering the healthy heart message.
RUCST has now given the participants’ recommendations to other sport and physical activity provisions within their disabilities programme, and hope the project has given those who took part throughout the year lasting knowledge of how to look after their hearts.
Andrew’s mother, Jane, said: "The working partnership with Reach Day Services RUCST and Heart Research UK has successfully contributed to my son’s consistent weight loss. Andrew has shown more interest in sporting activities and is actively more involved and now enjoys exercise as well as eating better."
Rotherham United Community Sports Trust Head of Community, Jamie Noble, said: “Heart Research UK have enabled us to work with people with a disability who have weight issues for a variety of reasons from the medication they take to inactivity at home. It was vital these people lose weight and became more active as we identified them as being at risk for heart problems in later life. We have had tremendous success with the entire group with one or two stand out participants who, by their own dedication, this programme has changed their lives for the better.”
Heart Research UK National Director, Barbara Harpham, said: “Rotherham United Community Sports Trust has provided vital help and support to people with disabilities within the community, and Heart Research UK are delighted with this project’s success, and that it is improving the lives and health of the people taking part.”
To find out more about the Health Hearts sessions we deliver please contact:
Health & Wellbeing Officer
Tel: 01709 827767
Visit www.rucst.co.uk for more information on Rotherham United CST