Thursday, 18 July 2024
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Thursday, 18 July 2024

British Heart Foundation joins We Are Undefeatable campaign

We Are Undefeatable has announced the expansion of their charity partners to include the British Heart Foundation – bringing the total number of members to 16. 

We Are Undefeatable is a collaboration between various health and mental wellbeing charities, supported by National Lottery funding and expertise from Sport England, which aims to support and inspire some of the 43% of people in England who live with a health condition to get active in a way that works for them. Its purpose is to support and encourage those with long term health conditions to find ways to be active that work with their condition, not against them – with every achievement worthy of celebration, no matter how small. 

The addition of the British Heart Foundation brings another dimension to the charity offers. Funding vital research into heart diseases, stroke and vascular dementia, the BHF also provides a range of support and guidance on coping with heart and circulatory diseases. 

Neil Tester, Director of The Richmond Group of Charities, which coordinates the charity partners, said:

“We’re proud to add the British Heart Foundation to the campaign’s line-up of charities. They are such an inspiring organisation, and their knowledge and reach will really add to the We Are Undefeatable offering. Even small increases in physical activity bring benefits to people with a wide range of long term health conditions, so being able to support further those with heart conditions in ways that are appropriate and safe will have a hugely positive impact.” 

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, chief executive at the British Heart Foundation, said:

“I am delighted the BHF is joining this partnership at a time when staying active and looking after your heart health has never been more important. We Are Undefeatable is a powerful initiative, and the BHF is excited to offer its support to people living with long-term health conditions to help them stay active.

“As the people at the heart of this campaign demonstrate, you don’t need to climb a mountain or spend hours in the gym to improve your health. Instead, doing just a few minutes of activity every day, such as going for a short walk during your lunch break, can make all the difference to people with heart and circulatory diseases and other long-term conditions.”

This year, We Are Undefeatable focuses on helping people keep active even while public facilities are closed. The Home Games has been a weekly virtual event with fun decathlon-based games tailored for people living with health conditions, led by Paralympians Dame Sarah Storey and Lauren Rowles MBE. 

The decorated athletes took their teams through 10 weeks of virtual fun and active games alongside their own training for Tokyo 2021. In addition, the team members living with long-term conditions such as cancer, dementia, and asthma took part in various activities that could be done safely at home, including Laundry, Basketball, Watering Can Wander and Pillow Javelin.

The Home Games were developed following research from Sport England that revealed how over half (56%) of people from across England who are living with a health condition are currently worried about leaving the house to be active during the pandemic, compared to fewer than 2 in 5 (39%) of those without an existing condition. The Games themselves were developed in partnership with the 16 charities that developed. We Are Undefeatable and were overseen by Dr Dawn Harper and a qualified Personal Trainer specialising in falls prevention, cardiac rehab and exercise referral. All of the games within the Home Games involved items found around the home but ensured the movements were accessible or adaptable for any health condition.

Many participants reported feeling ‘more confident’ and ‘happier’ after the 10 weeks of sessions, with several noticing an improvement in their physical and mental health, whether needing to use their reliever inhaler (usually blue) less or improving balance. This suggests that tailored; frequent physical activity could be key to addressing the concerns of the one in four adults (25%) living with health conditions who feel their life will never be ‘normal’ again following the coronavirus pandemic, as well as helping those who said their confidence had been knocked due to the pandemic (22%).

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