For West Ham United’s Foundation, delivering projects that help tackle some of the key health challenges in Newham is a central pillar of their work.
Taking its name from the recommended amount of 150 minutes of exercise people should take per week, the 150Club Newham Community Prescription programme works to tackle high rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Newham by helping people to stay healthy.
The borough has the second highest predicted prevalence rate of Type 2 diabetes in England, with more than 24,500 of residents currently diagnosed with diabetes.
By working in a ground-breaking partnership with NHS Newham CCG, Newham Council and the Staywell Partnership, West Ham United’s Foundation use the power of football and sport over the 24-week community prescription programme to inspire local residents who would otherwise be uncomfortable discussing their health and making changes to their lifestyle.
The BT Sport Industry Awards ‘Community Programme of the Year’ recognises the work of organisations that deliver innovative and high-impact projects within their local communities, and the unique and diverse 150Club Community Prescription programme run by the Foundation was recognised as delivering life-changing opportunities for people at risk of type 2 diabetes within Newham – winning the award last week.
This week, the 150Club have taken to the Community Track at the Hammers’ London Stadium home to take part in a Walking Football session to keep them fit and active.
One of the participants, Arif Qureshi, had many reasons to try and improve his health with the 150Club.
He said: “Back in 2013 I lost my Dad to diabetes and lung cancer and then last year, I lost my sister as well.
“That's given me a kick up the backside to say look, Ineed to do something and I need to do something now.
“All the guys are brilliant. [We have] a mixed culture, mixed community, everybody from everywhere…
Another of the participants, Chandra Bouri, also loves the programme and in particular, walking football.
“I think the programme is a lifesaver,” he said. :I think if the 150Club wasn't there, a lot more people would be feeling poorly, health-wise.
“I'm coming up to 67, and they reckon that don't give [walking football] up, because once your body is used to a bit of activity keep it going!”