Happy Heart

The Happy Heart project was designed to promote heart health to people with learning disabilities through short courses run in conjunction with the local Community Learning Disability Team.

The Happy Heart project aim was to run healthy living courses for people with learning disabilities. Specifically targeting 30 people with a learning disability and 30 carers.

Using a mixture of talking, activities, light exercise and games the project promoted healthy living in an accessible and enjoyable format. Seven two-hour sessions took place to present mainstream health promotion messages in an accessible and enjoyable format and was a great success.

The first group took place in Holyhead, finishing in May 2008.

The second group took place in Gaerwen, finishing in July 2008, and was equally successful. A third group started in September 2008, in day centres across Anglesey, and a fourth group was planned for January 2009, before the project ended.

Since the Happy Heart project finished a five-seven week course, tailored to the needs of people with learning disabilities, has been created covering what the heart does and what it needs to be healthy, specifically around food and exercise.

This 12 month ARC Cymru (Wales) project extended the piloted Happy Heart group format to more than 120 people with a learning disability on the Island of Anglesey. This well received 6-week programme was designed to increase knowledge about healthier lifestyles and the role that food and exercise play in keeping the heart healthy.

Happy Heart was funded by Heart Research UK