Locals get healthy with the Foundation

Foundation launched its new Healthy Lifestyle programme in partnership with Newham Council and Equator Connect.

The programme looks to encourage local people over 50 to pursue a more balanced way of life and teach them about how minor changes in their everyday diet can offer long term benefits.

With the Boleyn Ground the venue for the event, the launch saw over 40 local residence engaging with Foundation staff to find out how they could improve their health through nutritional workshops, stretching and exercise demonstrations, as well as learning how to monitor their blood pressure.

Attendees were encouraged to offer their own ideas about what a healthy lifestyle meant to them and use the various work stations to let staff know exactly what they want to achieve from the sessions going forward.

As part of a 10-week programme, the day served as a taster session and gave a glimpse into what participants can expect over the coming months.

With the Borough of Newham currently suffering from a high rate of type two diabetes, it is imperative that organisations come together to address local health issues. This view was echoed by Melba Palhazy, Director of Equator Connect.

“Public health is an essential component of achieving sustainable communities, which is what Equator Connect is about. So when we were approached to co-develop this holistic, community, health programme with West Ham United Foundation and Newham Council, there was no question whether to get involved or not.

“In today’s fast paced world, the emphasis is on quick-fixes, rather than prevention, which in the long run only creates bigger problems. Whereas, changing the focus to prevention and empowering individuals to take responsibility for their own health, not only benefits them long-term, but it's also gives them a strong sense of self belief.”

Councillor Mukesh Patel from Newham Council was delighted with the launch event and was looking forward to developing the programme throughout the borough.

“The group was excellent today and it was a great turnout. It’s a great opportunity for elderly people to learn about the benefits of healthy eating and how they can help prevent issues such as diabetes. The aim of the programme is to start with the initial cohort and work across a variety of venues, involving many different groups of people from within the borough.”

Senior Community Sports Development Officer, Sham Motin reflected on another successful example of local organisations working to better the community.

“This is what community partnership is all about – bringing local people together to better serve the community going forward. We are trying to help people live a more sustainable life style. It’s not about being in the gym five days a week. We want to empower local people to take control of their own health and make minor adjustments to live a healthier, more fulfilling life.

“What is great about this programme is that we wanted to hear from the participants about what health means to the people who attended the launch day and tailor the programme to suit their needs, rather than just simply bombarding them with information that has no relevance to their day-to-day lives.”

The 10-week course which is set to start over the coming weeks will offer valuable insight on how to eat healthy on a budget, the hidden secrets behind food labels and the benefits of physical activity, as well as receiving a cooking master class from the Club’s very own chef.

The Healthy Lifestyle programme is part of the Foundation’s well-established health department and focuses on its long-term vision of helping to create a healthier, happier community.