Vascular Disease Awareness Month takes place throughout September and aims to raise awareness of conditions which affect your circulatory system. According to the British Heart Foundation, Newham currently has the second highest cardiovascular disease death rate in London. In order to tackle this and the high rates of type 2 diabetes in the borough, West Ham United Foundation deliver the 150Club in partnership with North East London Clinical Commissioning Group and Newham Council – a scheme that has saved the NHS more than £1.4 million so far.
Taking its name from the 150 minutes of exercise that people are recommended to do every week, the 150Club aims to reduce high rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Newham residents aged 18 and over, by helping those at risk of the conditions to become more active.
Individuals receive one-to-one assessments and lifestyle advisers provide support and track their progress to make sure the programme is as beneficial as possible. Since inception in 2015, more than 800 people have completed the 12-week award-winning initiative - which has also seen support from West Ham United’s players through the club’s Players’ Project - and it is now available through self-referral as well as GP referral.
150Club Lifestyle Adviser, Layla McNeilly, commented: “Cardiovascular disease is one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK and it is preventable by leading a healthier lifestyle. What’s especially brilliant about this scheme - and a key reason why I think we have had such a positive impact so far - is that we are all working together to intervene while the person has an opportunity to make lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of these conditions, and we consider a variety of factors about the individual in order to create a bespoke plan. Ultimately, this helps them to feel confident in what they are doing and means they are more likely to successfully complete the programme and improve their life for the long-term.”
Participants can choose from a wide range of tailored physical activities and due to the success of online classes throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns, sessions are now available virtually and in person.
Newham resident Jonathan Hodgkiss was at risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and so joined the scheme to avoid the health complications. “I did the Supported Gym session at Atherton Leisure Centre and then switched to Zoom classes during lockdown,” said Jonathan.
"I have lost over three kilograms and am noticeably fitter. There is even some muscular definition now in places where there wasn't before and I'm continuing to exercise three times a week via the excellent Zoom classes that are available with the Lifestyle Advisors. The programme empowers local people, enabling them to take greater control of their own health.
“I recommend it to others, not just for the obvious physical and mental health benefits but also for the fact that you meet some nice people in a non-competitive atmosphere where you receive lots of encouragement from friendly and knowledgeable trainers. I cannot speak highly enough of the 150Club.”
You can now self-refer yourself to the 150Club if you meet the necessary criteria, for more information on this and to find the self-referral form, visit: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XJJMC5M
To find out more, contact [email protected] or visit the website, www.whufc.com/club-foundation/projects/community/150-club