Healthy hearts scheme heads to Downham Market

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A new health trainer project designed to improve the heart health of men – and fight one of the county’s biggest killers - is now heading to Downham.

Almost one in five men in the UK die from heart disease and the ‘Hearty Lives’ project has been set up to try and reduce this figure by offering free one-to-one support, family activities, sports and cooking classes.

Men living in the Downham area are invited to take part in the project with sessions taking place on the first Saturday of every month.

Support will help participants improve their health and wellbeing through a series of support sessions with carefully selected activities, such as cookery classes (with food to take home) and simple and safe ways to get more active.

Coordinated locally by Norfolk County Council Public Health, Hearty Lives West Norfolk is a British Heart Foundation funded programme for men in West Norfolk that hopes to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Hearty Lives participants are welcome to suggest any lifestyle activities that interest them which will then be considered by the group, and family members are welcome to come along too.

Dan Roper, cabinet member for Public Protection at Norfolk County Council said: “The Hearty Lives Project is about raising awareness of heart disease and supporting people in making healthier choices to improve the health of the heart.

“We want to encourage as many people as possible to take up the opportunities offered by the project.”

Lucy Macleod, Interim Director of Public Health at Norfolk County Council, added: “Nationally, one in five men dies from heart disease. This figure can be changed and we want to support men to live life for the better.

“I hope that men in Downham will also get their friends and family involved in this programme as it is vital we all work together to take care of our hearts.”

Anthony White, Norfolk County Councillor for Downham, said: “I’m delighted that this project is coming to the town. Together with projects like this we can help improve the health of our community and learn how to best look after our hearts.”

Diane Card, British Heart Foundation area development manager said: “We are very excited to be funding this project in West Norfolk as it is targeting a key area of the community. If people can make a few small changes to their lifestyle it will make huge differences to their heart health and reduce their chances of developing coronary heart disease.”

The Downham events will take place on the first Saturday of every month, 10am to 12 noon, at Downham Market Children’s Centre, Snape Lane (off Paradise Road).