“The facilities at the Wessex Cardiac Centre really are second to none. People in the Wessex region have access to some of the best equipment and care in the world. Now it’s time to cut off the problem at the source; working to stop people from contracting heart disease in the first place.” - John Munro (CEO Wessex Heartbeat)
Historically, the charity has focused predominantly on funding equipment and facilities at Southampton General Hospital’s Wessex Cardiac Centre. Since it's conception, Wessex Heartbeat has raised an impressive £16m, with the majority of the money going towards ensuring the cardiac centre can provide state-of-the-art care.
We have been looking at ways how we can improve the cardiac care in other areas; one of which being prevention. The Daily Echo wrote an article, which you can read here.
What we have done already
In 2018, Wessex Heartbeat decided to start getting involved with the preventative side of cardiac care; and stemming from the tremendous benefits of the community/corporate Healthy Heart initiative - the Wessex Heartbeat 12 Week Challenge was born.
The 12 Week Challenge was initially pitched as a different stance on most healthy eating plans or diets. We wanted to achieve a challenge that anybody could do, which would focus on cutting just one thing from your diet or lifestyle, that would end up positively affecting your heart health over the course of 12 weeks.
The challenge saw scores of business people take on a small but achievable challenges every week for three months in a bid to reduce their BMI, cholesterol and other factors of cardiac health; all courtesy of helpful tips from CEO - John Munro and partners Brightside PT.
The challenges ranged from drinking more water to getting more active and had a real effect, with the group collectively losing more than 12 stone and reducing their cholesterol.
“It was a big success and proof that with small changes, you can improve your overall health.
As a result, we’re going to be rolling the challenge out to the wider public as it has the potential to change the lives of hundreds, even thousands of people.” - John Munro CEO
What the future holds for preventative care
We have partnered with AFC Totton and are running several projects to spread the word. Running healthy heart checks for players, holding a healthy heart conference and even funding exercise programmes like walking football, are just some of the schemes on the cards.