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Oldham Community Leisure honoured for fighting heart disease

Oldham Community Leisure’s (OCL) Health and Physical Activity Team have been named as heart heroes by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) at a special awards ceremony held in Manchester.

The charity’s annual awards recognise the exceptional contribution people make to fighting heart disease.

The Health and Physical Activity Team jointly won the Heart Health Professional award for their work to help heart patients increase the level of physical activity in their daily lives. They also spend time listening to clients’ physical, social and emotional problems, to help aid their recovery. The team become friends, mentors and make people feel very valued.

“It was an honour to receive this award and to know that our work is an inspiration to others. Being active can help prevent lives being cut short from heart disease. Our team works tirelessly to improve the lives of those living hearts conditions helping to reduce the burden of care on the NHS by improving health through physical activity rather than medication,” says Sarah Maxwell, head of programming at OCL.

The team works in collaboration with the Oldham Cardiac Rehabilitation team and GP surgeries across Oldham to deliver a dedicated programme for local people suffering a range of conditions including coronary heart disease. The programme receives more than 228 referrals per year with 94 per cent of referred participants taking up the scheme. The programme, which currently includes six beginners classes and five maintenance classes, received more than 1,000 attendances in the last quarter.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the BHF, said: “I am delighted that we’ve been able to recognise The Oldham team’s commitment to patients. Because of their hard work and dedication they’ve made a positive change to the lives of heart patients and helped bring them together as a community.”

Despite great progress over the last 50 years, cardiovascular disease still kills around 160,000 people each year – more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK.

Heart Heroes Award

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