AFC Totton and Wessex Heartbeat have joined forces in a bid to improve the region’s cardiac health.
The two organisations have signed a three-year deal, which will see them work together to raise money for the charity, as well as awareness of ways people can keep themselves healthy.
As part of the deal Wessex Heartbeat’s cardiac nurses will carry out healthy heart checks for players and staff. The charity will also sponsor some of AFC Totton’s health in the community projects, such as walking football sessions and cage cricket. The charity will work with AFC Totton to run several fundraising initiatives and in return the Wessex Heartbeat logo will sit proudly pitch-side for the next three years.
The team’s main stand will be renamed the Wessex Heartbeat Stand as part of the deal and the specially commissioned signage was unveiled by representatives from both partners before AFC Totton’s game against Street FC. Even the team joined in with the celebrations by wearing Wessex Heartbeat t-shirts prior to the game during their own warm up routines.
John Munro, chief executive of Wessex Heartbeat, says that the educational side of the partnership is just as important as the fundraising opportunities it will unlock. He said:
‘We are working hard to reduce heart disease on the front line and our partnership with AFC Totton will allow us to reach tens of thousands of people with our message. We hope to educate the team, supporters and the wider Totton community about the steps they can take to keep their hearts healthy.’
Wayne Mew, AFC Totton Chairman, said:
‘The club is increasingly becoming a community hub and it’s important for us to look out for our neighbours. That’s why we’re delighted to partner with Wessex Heartbeat and help to spread the message about heart health. Exercise plays a vital role in keeping hearts healthy and we have a commitment to the whole community to ensure that the wonderful facilities that we have here are being used to help everyone (whatever their background, history or experience) get some exercise into their lifestyle.’
Wessex Heartbeat hopes to set up a regular drop in session at the club house, offering post-operative support and education for people in Totton that have been affected by heart disease.
Coronary heart disease remains the number one killer in the UK and there are around 7 million people living with cardiovascular disease today.
‘These are worrying stats and so prevention is critical for us going forward. Partnering with community hubs such as AFC Totton provides the perfect platform for us to educate and inform.’