Oswestry-based, community charity Qube is working with NHS Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Integrated Care Board and Shropshire Council to facilitate the Shropshire Blood Pressure Checks Project. The project aims to recruit volunteers from across Shropshire to target high-risk populations to increase the detection of hypertension and improve awareness of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors.

High blood pressure is responsible for one in four premature deaths in the UK accounting for the largest gap in healthy life expectancy. Health inequities mean that people from marginalised groups or people living in rural areas often go undiagnosed.

A few weeks ago, Blood Pressure Champion Coordinator at Qube, Jo Longetti had the pleasure of training her first four champions and is currently recruiting and training even more volunteers throughout the county. Once trained, the Community Blood Pressure Champions will work with partners to run pop-up events in several locations, including Livestock Markets, Food Banks, and Veterans groups, allowing everyone to access free blood pressure checking.

Jo says; “I’m really excited about the potential for this project. I see it as a great opportunity to raise awareness of the dangers of hypertension which often goes undiagnosed and can be a silent killer, causing strokes and heart attacks if untreated. I am looking forward to reaching out to the diverse communities we have in Shropshire, and getting to know people in more rural areas too, both as volunteers and service users.”

Councillor Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet Member for adult social care, public health and communities said: “As a council we are committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of Shropshire residents.

I’m therefore really pleased to see that we are working with The Qube Oswestry Community Action to offer free blood pressure checks at locations across the county.  The charity are currently seeking more volunteers to work with our outreach team to help raise awareness of the symptoms and risks of cardiovascular disease within local communities and to deliver free blood pressure checks for local residents.

If you have any spare time to be a volunteer, please do contact Qube and help us help our communities to stay healthy for longer.

We know that half of all strokes and heart attacks are caused by high blood pressure.  High blood pressure can lead to Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CVD is responsible for one in four premature deaths in the UK.  This is why it is so important for adults to know their blood pressure numbers and to seek advice if they are high.

I strongly encourage residents across Shropshire, especially those who are over the age of 40, to get their blood pressure checked. Checking your blood pressure is quick, simple and painless and it could save your life.”

If you would like to find out more about the programme, contact Jo Longetti, Blood Pressure Champion Coordinator at Qube. Call 01691 656882 or email j.longetti@qube-oca.org.uk