Northern Ireland - Heart Research UK
Return to Grants

Northern Ireland

Willowfield Parish Community Association

Project Title: Lifeguards Healthy Hearts
Award: £10,000



Laurence Bellew, from Belfast, designed the Life Guards programme after his uncle Michael died suddenly of a heart attack the day after his 45th birthday in August 2012. Laurence’s personal grief and loss impacted on his mental and physical well-being for a time, but this was a time of change and realisation that he could do something to prevent this happening to himself and others.  It was then that Laurence decided to do something positive to inspire kids to be the best versions of themselves by learning to guard their hearts and their minds.  Take a look at the video to see the impact the Life Guards project is having on the lives of children, teachers and the surrounding community of Belfast.

The 6 to 8 week programme was delivered in twenty schools combining of heart health workshops and physical activity fitness sessions. 1751 kids completed the programme and received awards including booklets, water bottles, stress heart key rings.

The programme saw a change in attitude and the measurable outcomes demonstrated that the kids were getting fitter.

Teacher feedback: ‘Thanks again to Laurence & Luke for running a fantastic programme. The positive message that they bring to the children is so worthwhile. Their fitness and attitude towards fitness and health has definitely improved.’

Pupil feedback: ‘I really enjoyed life guards, it was one of the highlights of my week. I always looked forward for Tuesdays. One of my favourite activities of my year in P7!’