Centre of the Cell - Queen Mary, University of London’s interactive science education centre at Whitechapel - will be helping Tower Hamlets residents at risk of heart disease learn how to make lifestyle choices that could improve their health.
Residents of Tower Hamlets, which has a high proportion of black and minority ethnic residents who are more at risk of heart disease, will get a unique experience at Centre of the Cell’s interactive pod, suspended above the biomedical laboratories of the Blizard Institute at Queen Mary.
Children and adults will be able to take on the role of healthcare professionals through the pod’s interactive game stations, and learn about their hearts and how lifestyle choices affect health.
The ‘In a Heart Beat’ message is being spread to residents in Tower Hamlets from February to July 2013, through a £9,300 Healthy Heart Grant from Heart Research UK.
‘In a Heart Beat’ workshops will be delivered to nine school groups and three community groups in Tower Hamlets to further explore the functions of the heart, Coronary Heart Disease and its risk factors, and the negative impact of specific lifestyle choices, such as smoking, chewing tobacco and poor diet.
Umme Aysha, Tower Hamlets Outreach Officer at Centre of the Cell, says: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Heart Research UK to deliver this project to the community. We hope that they find the experience informative and fun and understand the importance of keeping a healthy heart and hopefully change their lifestyles for the better.”
In total, almost 300 school children and teachers and dozens of members of local community groups who are at risk of developing heart disease will be engaged with directly. Participants will also be asked about their knowledge of heart health, and what lifestyle changes they are going to make.
Barbara Harpham, National Director at Heart Research UK, says: “It’s great to get the community involved and spread the importance of keeping healthy. People need to be more aware of the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, and projects like this are a great way of focusing on heart health in a fun and interactive way.”
Centre of the Cell will also be open to the public for a range of free events and workshops throughout 2013, including the next lecture in the ‘Big Question’ series on Thursday 31 January. Queen Mary, University of London’s Professor of Pathological Education Paola Domizio will present a talk titled Working in Pathology.. a dead end job? on the role of pathologists and careers in the study of disease. For more information, visit http://www.centreofthecell.org/events/index.php
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