A health partnership has been launched in Cumberland to coincide with Stroke Prevention Day

Community Stroke and Heart Heroes, comprising nine local organisations, aims to educate residents about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and thus, reducing the risk of heart issues and strokes.

On January 22, a training event took place at The Centre, Ewanrigg, Maryport.

Volunteers hailing from Cockermouth and Maryport, representing the different partnership organisations, were trained to operate atrial fibrillation monitors and help health professionals with blood pressure readings.

Going forward, these volunteers are tasked with attending community gatherings within the region.

They will offer blood pressure and atrial fibrillation readings, along with insightful discussions about curbing heart attacks and strokes.

Abnormal readings will warrant immediate referral to a GP or community pharmacy within the partnership.

The partnership includes the Integrated Care Community (Cockermouth and Maryport ICC), Cumberland Council Public Health, and the Cockermouth Rotary Club, among others.

Colin Cox, Cumberland Council’s director of public health and communities, said: "The launch of the Community Stroke and Heart Heroes partnership is fantastic news for Cumberland residents living or working in Cockermouth, Maryport, and the surrounding areas.

"Cardiovascular death remains the leading cause of death worldwide and the largest cause of premature mortality.

"In the UK, cardiovascular death causes one in four deaths and 160,000 deaths annually, so it’s imperative that we increase the early detection of these issues and refer our residents to the appropriate organisation within the partnership".

Councillor Markus Campbell-Savours, Cumberland Council executive member and portfolio holder for adult's and community health, said: "Prioritising the health and wellbeing of our residents is a real focus for Cumberland Council, so I’m thrilled to see the organisations involved in the Community Stroke and Heart Heroes partnership working together to reduce the risk of heart issues and strokes in Cumberland.

"This new, innovative initiative is a fantastic way to engage with Cumberland residents, providing them with information on how to reduce the risk of strokes and heart issues, and will go a long way to keeping our residents healthier".

Clare Edwards, a volunteer with Community Stroke and Heart Heroes, added: "My family has been affected by stroke and atrial fibrillation, so it was important for me to do something practical to support local people in my community.

"I’m really excited to get involved in the partnership, and I can’t wait to get started".