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Hearty Lives Barnsley


L-R , Jane Ellison MP (Parliamentary under-secretary of State for Public Health) Steph Dilnot – (British Heart Foundation, Yorkshire & Humber Area Manager), Lee Thompson – (Project Coordinator, Barnsley FC Community Sports & Education Trust), Michael Dugher (MP Barnsley East) and Scott Copeland (Health Trainer from Person Shaped Support  PSS.)

The Fit Reds healthy lifestyle programme for men aged 35+ was successfully nominated by local MP Michael Dugher to receive an award for contribution towards public health and wellbeing. Over 100 Health and wellbeing organisations from all over the country were submitted for the national recognition awards, with the Fit Reds programme being shortlisted to one of only 30 excellent showcase projects.

The Fit Reds programme, run by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Barnsley FC Community Sports & Education Trust, Barnsley Local Authority and Person Shaped Support Barnsley (PSS), works with local men who are at high risk of developing coronary heart disease. The eight week program is delivered via a series of workshops focusing on diet, nutrition, and physical activity and uses football as a tool to support the men to make positive lifestyle changes.

Fit Reds Project Co ordinator Lee Thompson said ‘’ This is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved; our funders the British heart Foundation, PSS and Barnsley Council’s Public Health service. The men who complete the programme and recommend it to others are also an important part of the success. Hopefully this life changing project will continue to be successful and through this award potential future funders will be aware of this important and successful intervention programme.’’

Councillor Jim Andrews, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health said: “We are really pleased that the Fit Reds programme has been recognised for its achievements in supporting our residents to make positive changes to their lifestyles. Well done everyone involved.”

Comments from PSS ‘’As deliverers on Fit Reds, PSS Barnsley Health Trainer Service love it when we can help people get the most from life.  Fit Reds is a great example of partners coming together with their expertise, resources and knowledge to tackle health inequalities and how this can support men, their families and the wider community to improve their health and wellbeing,”

Steph Dilnot, Regional Service Development Manager at the BHF, said: “The results of the project have been phenomenal and it’s great that Fit Reds is getting the recognition it deserves.

Nearly 400 men to date, have completed the project and the majority have lost weight, reduced their blood pressure and have become much more active. It’s great to see these men being empowered to take control of their heart health because, without the support and mentoring that Fit Reds offers, it could have been a very different story for them.” 

For further details or to find out when the next programme is delivered, contact Lee Thompson, Tel 01226 211333 or email [email protected]