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Heart Research UK and PECT help local residents to look after their hearts

Community & Education Health & Wellbeing

Environmental charity PECT has completed its ’Growing Healthier Communities’ project to encourage local residents to enjoy a better quality of life through a more active lifestyle and by learning how to grow and cook healthy meals.

The innovative project, which was funded by a Heart Research UK and Subway Health Heart Grant, ran free workshops using local communal spaces in Peterborough.

The project received great results, with 30% of attendees saying that they now plan to grow food at home as a result of the session they attended, and 100% of beneficiaries saying they aim to be more active. In addition, all attendees said they planned to share what they had learnt with their family and friends.

One beneficiary, Diana, explained: “I really liked the way I could learn through doing and sharing rather than just being told what to do. The growing and cooking sessions really helped me to think about how I was looking after myself and to do things in a better way.

“I didn’t realise salt was so bad for my heart but is easy to replace. I won’t be putting salt all over my food anymore!”

Karen Igho, PECT’s Health & Wellbeing Lead, said: “Gardening offers all-round physical activity that can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other medical conditions.

“One of our charitable aims is to help and encourage people to make healthier choices. We want to understand and address the barriers to mental and physical health, and contribute towards creating safer, happier and healthier environments.

“We’re thrilled at the success of this project, and would like to congratulate all of our participants, as well as thanking Heart Research UK and Subway for their support.”

Sarah Mirfin, Healthy Heart Coordinator at Heart Research UK, said: “Coronary heart disease is the most common type of cardiovascular disease and is the UK’s single biggest killer. The good news is, you can do something about this through eating better and moving more.

“With levels of physical activity in Peterborough lower than the national average, we’re thrilled to have supported a project that has led to all of its beneficiaries being more active. What’s more, all of those surveyed understood the heathy heart messages of lowering salt and saturated fat intakes, and the importance of getting their 5-a-day and making their own healthy recipes at home.

“Projects like this are a fantastic example of how a healthier, longer, happier life can be achieved by everyone with the right support.”

The project was funded thanks to a Heart Research UK and Subway® Healthy Heart Grant. ‘Growing Healthier Communities’ was run in partnership with Gladstone Connect and Community First.

You can still get involved with gardening projects at the Allama Iqbal Centre, 157 Cromwell Road (PE1 2EL). The Centre welcomes gardening volunteers with any level of experience and ability – you can find out how to get involved on the Gladstone Connect Facebook page.

For more information about PECT, call 01733 568408, or email info@pect.org.uk. For further details about PECT, visit www.pect.org.uk.