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East London to take part in Beat the Street

The delivery of Beat the Street is being supported by the National Charity Partnership – a collaboration between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Tesco

Mum with children playing BTSFrom 23 September to 11 November, residents in Hackney, Waltham Forest, Towet Hamlets and Newham are being encouraged to take part in Beat the Street – a real-life game where participants are challenged to ‘race to space’. Over the course of eight weeks, participants will walk, cycle or run as far as possible to collectively travel the equivalent distance of going to outer space. Beat the Street East London is being funded by the National Charity Partnership and forms part of its aim to support and transform the lives of 40,000 families in the UK. 

The Beat the Street project will turn parts of East London into a real-life game in which residents are challenged to walk, cycle or run as far as possible over the course of the eight weeks. There will be rewards for those who travel the furthest, overall team distance and weekly ‘lucky taps’. Participants will be able to log their journey by tapping cards against sensors called Beat Boxes, which can be found on lampposts right across Hackney, as well as Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. Players can monitor their progress via a secure website. People of all ages can take part and players can win prizes for themselves and their community team. 

Beat the Street is designed to inspire people to be physically active, with the intention that they will continue these lifestyle choices beyond the eight weeks. So far in 2015, 107,000 people have played the game in other areas of the UK, as well as in Italy and the USA. The average participation rate is 14% of the population and 78% of participants reported that Beat the Street helped them walk more.

Jenna Hall, Programme Director for the National Charity Partnership, said: “We’re very excited about launching this fun initiative, which will help local people get more active and to explore Hackney. Walking just half an hour a day to work, school or to the shops is a great way for people to improve their health, quality of life and wellbeing. “Heart disease and Type 2 diabetes are both serious conditions that can shorten lives. We are supporting Beat the Street to help local people to get active and help to prevent these conditions.”

Dr William Bird, Founder of Intelligent Health, which runs the project on behalf of the National Charity Partnership, added: “We developed the game to add a competitive element to physical activity.  Being active has a positive effect on 23 long term health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and breast and colon cancer. Additionally, getting out and about in the fresh air is good for mental health, reduces traffic congestion and allows participants to enjoy their area.” 

The Partnership between Diabetes UK, BHF and Tesco was launched earlier this year. Its aim is to help save lives, by helping millions of people to eat better and get active, reducing their risk of serious ill-health in the future. This will help reduce people’s risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, both of which are largely preventable through healthy lifestyle choices. Through the money raised by Tesco colleagues, the partnership will deliver a variety or preventative and informative initiatives. 

For more information about Beat the Street in Hackney, visit www.eastlondon.beatthestreet.me. Alternatively visit @btseastlondon on Twitter and Beat the Street East London on Facebook.