Southend United Community & Educational Trust (SUCET) has been awarded a £9,250 grant from national charity Heart Research UK, to inspire children and their families to look after their hearts.
The Trust has been awarded the grant to deliver Heart Research UK’s ‘Heart of the Community’ project.
As part of the project, SUCET’s community coaches will work with local school children in years five and six to build up their awareness and understanding of how the body works, the importance of the heart, and how they can take practical steps to help improve their overall health and heart health.
Six weeks of fun sport and physical activity sessions, workshops around healthy lifestyles and life-saving skills such as basic CPR will be provided for the 1,200 pupils taking part in the Heart of the Community project.
The pupils will be offered free tickets to attend heart health-themed matchdays and given access to the SUCET Family Fan Zone.
A first team player from Southend United will be appointed as a project ambassador and the Trust will work closely with the Club to drive a heart health awareness campaign throughout 2021.
Sarah Mirfin, Healthy Heart Coordinator at Heart Research UK, said:
“We are seeing a decline in physical activity amongst school-aged children, with only one in five achieving 60 active minutes each day. Physical activity has a big impact on health and happiness both now and in the future.
“We would like to thank Subway customers who have donated in stores across Anglia. Their contribution will enable 1,200 school pupils and countless family members, friends, football fans and the wider community of South East Essex to be inspired to eat better and move more.
“We are thrilled to be supporting the project and cannot wait to see the fun interactive games inspire groups of children who might not normally get involved in sport.”
Angus Martin, Project Officer at SUCET, said:
“Football is where the passion of Southend United Community & Educational Trust starts, not where it ends. Kicking a ball is not the be all and end all, it is about building up the courage to take a shot.
“We are grateful to Heart Research UK and Subway for the funding to enable young children to get more active, eat better and understand why this is good for their health. We also want to give them the confidence and skills to recognise when someone has had a cardiac arrest and to perform basic CPR.
“Our vison is to get into communities and inspire them to live a healthier, happier, longer life. We are so excited about the project and cannot wait to get started.”