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National Charity Partnership invites Sandwell residents to take part in Beat the Street

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

Sandwell is invited to play ‘Beat the Street’ – a seven-week challenge that encourages participants to walk as far as possible in a collective ‘race to space’. The challenge will run from 24th February to 13th April and is funded by the National Charity Partnership between Diabetes UK, the BHF and Tesco. 

Sandwell is one of six areas where the National Charity Partnership is funding the programme as part of their commitment to helping support 40,000 families in areas most at need across the UK to get active and reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease. Supporting these areas is part of the Partnership’s ‘Let’s Do This’ campaign which aims to inspire millions of people to take small and achievable steps to a healthier life.

Beat the Street will turn parts of Sandwell into a real-life game where residents are challenged to join a team and see how far they can walk. Participants will be able to log their journey by tapping cards against sensors called ‘Beat Boxes’, which will be found on lampposts across the town.

There will be prizes for the teams that travel the furthest and those who clock up the highest average points per person. There are also weekly ‘lucky tap’ prizes just for taking part. Players can monitor their progress via a secure website at www.sandwell.beatthestreet.me . 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 competition.  In 2015, more than 175,000 people 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 in Sandwell, which will help local people get more active and to explore. 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, the company that 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 National Charity Partnership between Diabetes UK, BHF and Tesco was announced earlier this year. Its aim is to help save lives, by helping millions of people to eat better and get active. 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 of preventative and informative initiatives like Beat the Street.

For more information about Beat the Street, visit www.sandwell.beatthestreet.me. Alternatively visit @btssandwell on Twitter and Beat the Street Sandwell on Facebook.