Community programme in Rotherham helps disabled adults have healthier lives

Andrew Seymour along with participants of the community programme
Andrew Seymour along with participants of the community programme
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Rotherham United’s development community programme has produced some impressive results after teaching disabled adults about looking after their hearts.

The community sport trust’s Fit For Life project, funded with a £10,000 grant from Heart Research UK, has helped 54 adults with physical, sensory and learning impairments or people with poor mental health become more independent and lead healthier lives.

Andrew Seymour, aged 28, has lost over two stone through participating in the course and has reduced his BMI from 41.5 to 37.5.

Figures show that 28.3 per cent of adults in Rotherham are obese which is higher than the national average of 24.2 per cent.

Twice weekly sessions were ran throughout the year and were split into fitness sessions, such as circuit training, and education sessions about the benefits of diet changes, nutrition and making healthier lifestyle choices.

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.

The project has given participants’ recommendations to other sport and physical activities within their disabilities programme, and hope it has given those who took part throughout the year lasting knowledge of how to look after their hearts.

James Noble, head of community at Rotherham United Community Sports Trust, 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.”

Barbara Harpham, Heart Research UK national director, 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.”