Disabled group all set to get ‘heart smart’

A BURY-based sports and social group for young disabled people has received a double boost.

After receiving a visit from London Paralympic bronze medallist Zoe Robinson, Jigsaw is now taking part in an initiative to keep hearts healthy.

The programme, “Heart Smart”, being run by the Bury-based charity, aims to teach young disabled people and their carers how to improve and maintain their heart health, while giving them the confidence to do so independently.

It is being funded with a Healthy Heart grant of £8,000 from national charity, Heart Research UK.

The fun, educational programme will work with more than 50 young disabled people, teaching them about healthy hearts through a series of cooking sessions, nutritionist-led interactive information sessions and “Heart Art”.

All the activities will allow young adults to gain hands-on experience, new knowledge and skills to cook and eat for heart health and the confidence to maintain a healthy lifestyle independently. Jigsaw will incorporate the Healthy Heart message into a wide range of activities, including a Healthy Heart cookbook and regular walking trips. Healthy heart tips will also be shared with Jigsaw members, their families and carers through their newsletters.

Clair McCann, Jigsaw co-ordinator, said: “The project will be a real boost to our day-to-day work and we think it is vital to enable young disabled people to be more informed about their heart health so they can live longer and more fulfiled lives.

“The Heart Research UK funding will enable us to deliver this exciting programme of activities which, in the long term, will support disabled people to make significant changes to their lifestyles for the benefit of their heart health.”

The good news comes after ex-member and double Paralympic medallist Zoe Robinson revisited her former boccia club, Jigsaw.

Zoe, a former Radcliffe Riverside student, brought her most recent boccia bronze from the London Paralympics to show members, and included a question-and-answer-session.

Zoe, who won gold at the Beijing games in 2008, shared some GB boccia drills to help inspire some of the Jigsaw players.

Jigsaw sports co-ordinator Paul McCormick said: “it was great to see Zoe back at Jigsaw after so many years. Everyone was really excited to see her, with some of our group having gone to the Paralympics to watch her play boccia.

“We knew she had talent when she first started with us when she was 13. Hopefully, having Zoe here will inspire some of our other talented players to reach even higher standards.”

For details, contact Jigsaw on 0161 253 6308 or email jigsaw@bury.gov.uk web or visit jigsawbury.org.uk

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