Young carers in Cambridge have been given a helping hand in living healthier lifestyles with the chance to learn how to play golf, thanks to a grant from national charity, Heart Research UK.
Many young carers in the UK are often responsible for shopping and preparing meals for those they care for, yet because of finance, time and their own limited skills, unhealthy convenience foods can prove the easier option. When coupled with low self-confidence and motivation and a lack of exercise, it all points to an increased risk of long term heart disease.
Now, the ‘Happy Hearts’ message is being spread to young carers living in Cambridge by Centre 33’s Young Carers Project, thanks to a £5,000 Healthy Heart Grant from national charity, Heart Research UK.
Centre 33 Young Carers Project provide a range of services for 8-18 year olds who support a family member with a long term illness, disability, mental health problem or who misuse drugs or alcohol.
Through the ‘Happy Hearts’ projects, Cambridge-based Centre 33 will work intensively with 20 young carers, aged 8-18 who live in rural South Cambridgeshire, to improve their understanding of heart health and give them the skills to lead heart-healthier lifestyles and reduce their risk of obesity and heart disease.
Due to the fact that 11% of young carers do no exercise, 22% have three or more snack foods a day and 22% watch two or more hours of television a day, the need for this project is tremendous and the importance of it has been highlighted in these figures.
For more information about Centre 33’S Young Carers Programme please go to - www.centre33.org.uk or call 01223 307488.
Sam Hill, Fundraiser at Centre 33, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Heart Research UK to deliver this project to the community in Cambridgeshire. We hope that the young carers find the experience informative and fun and understand the importance of keeping a ‘Healthy Heart’ and hopefully change their lifestyles for the better.”
“The young carers really enjoyed learning how to play golf today, it has been so much fun – I really loved seeing the session in action.”
Barbara Harpham, National Director at Heart Research UK, says: “It’s great to get this special group focusing on their heart health through this fun programme and receive the support they need to make positive lifestyle changes. Young carers do a fantastic job looking after others, but they also need to pay attention to their own health and the “Happy Hearts” programme will give them the skills and encouragement to do so."