Weʼve raised £3,370 to deliver WPCA's Life Guards Healthy Heart Programme to over 1500 kids across Northern Ireland during 2017/18.
- Belfast, United Kingdom
- Funded on Friday, 6th October 2017
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About Life Guards
When Laurence's Uncle Michael died of a heart attack at just 45 years old in August 2012, he was inspired to design a healthy heart programme which raises awareness of the importance of looking after both physical and mental health together. This was because his Uncle also suffered from Bi-Polar, which Laurence's Mum also suffers from. He found that if you look at the 9 identifiable factors in 90% of first heart attacks, one of them is stress but other factors like poor diet, smoking, excess alcohol consumption and high blood pressure can be a result of unhealthy ways of coping with stress.
Like Pool Lifeguards have the skills to save others, Life Guards aims to teach kids the skills to save their own lives by looking after their physical and mental health. According to Dr Hilary Cass, President of the RCPCH, obesity and mental health are the two biggest problems facing children on the island of Ireland and Life Guards aims to tackle both together
The 6 week programme is fun, practical and informative and aims to equip, encourage and empower kids to live a healthy lifestyle and form healthy habits to take into their teenage years and adulthood. It includes 2 workshops to introduce and conclude the programme as well as 4x1 hour fitness sessions which are all non-sport specific and include measurable challenges so kids can learn to set targets for their fitness.
Since launching in 2015 the programme has now been completed by over 3000 kids from 27 Primary Schools in Belfast, Antrim, Newtownards and Newtownabbey. As our funding from Heart Research UK comes to an end our challenge is now to raise funding to continue to deliver this programme in schools across Belfast and further afield.
Quotes from teachers
‘Fabulous programme, one of the best I have seen and I have been teaching for 12 years. Fantastic instructors and brilliant fun, informative programme for kids.’
‘Thank you so much for doing the programme with our P7. They all loved it and are stunned with their own performance. Life Guards is a life changing and life saving initiative and we are very lucky to have taken part in it.’
‘Laurence has improved this course year on year - it is so valuable to our school. The children absolutely love it! Laurence and Luke support the children by letting them see hard work = improvement. They learn self confidence but not arrogance, determination but not stubbornness. The relationships the instructors develop with the children are so valuable to them. My class have already asked if they can do Life Guards again this year! Thank you so much!’
‘It has inspired a large group of pupils and the adults to become more ‘heart aware’ and determined to take positive strides towards healthier living. We’re catching the ‘Fitness bug’. The only improvement that I can see is to secure ongoing funding to extend the benefits to more schools.’
Quotes from children
‘I feel much better and healthier now and I also feel like I can accomplish anything. Thank you so much guys, this has changed my life for the best and I loved the music.’ (Codey, 11)
‘Thank you so much for this opportunity of running life guards in GPS. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and would love to do it again. It has definitely motivated me to become better than I used to be. I admire the ways Laurence wanted to raise awareness after the loss of his uncle. Lifeguards has particularly helped me with fitness but also goal setting. The practical activities will help me to remember the programme for a long time to come’, (Joel, 11)
‘It has made me more independent with keeping fit’ (Girl, Aged 9)
‘The best health programme ever!’ (Boy, Aged 10)
‘It was very fun and improved how I live’ (Rebeka, Aged 9)
‘Loved it!!!!!!’ (Luke, Aged 9)
‘It helped me to be more healthy. I would like them to come every week’, (Jacinta, Aged 10)
Updates appear here
Laurence Bellew started crowdfunding
Leave a message of support
Oct 2, 2017
Leslie & Maxine Hume
Sep 30, 2017
Go guys... you can do it!
Sep 30, 2017
Sep 30, 2017
Belated well done! (Sorry for the delay, had to wait for student loan!)
Sep 29, 2017
Jonny & Lara
Sep 29, 2017
Keep up the good work.
Sep 21, 2017
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About the fundraiser
Belfast, United Kingdom
Children's Work Co-ordinator at Willowfield since Jan 2011. One of my biggest passions is raising awareness of the importance of looking after our physical & mental health which is why I have designed 'Life Guards' which aims to teach children skills to save their own lives.