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Focus On Health


09:00 16th April 2013

A look at the work of the Wolves Community Trust

The Wolves Community Trust, in its current form, is now in its fifth year working alongside the club on a variety of initiatives in the areas of sport, health, inclusion, education and charitable donations in the form of Wolves Aid.

Between now and the end of the season, we will focus on each area of the Trust, and the work it does to benefit people in Wolverhampton and further afield.

Katrina Maguire is Health Manager at the Trust, and is responsible for overseeing all health projects and developing initiatives to meet the health needs of the local community.

Katrina, who has previously worked as an NHS Physical Activity Specialist and an Exercise Physiologist for Nuffield Hospitals, says that although football clubs implementing health initiatives is a relatively recent concept, it is vital that clubs such as Wolves are able to find ways of meeting the health needs of their local communities.

"I think that using a professional football club such as Wolves as a platform to promote and deliver health initiatives is a great idea, and with the support of the first team players and manager, we can hopefully make a real difference to behaviours and attitudes in the community," she says.

"With a focus on delivering key health messages, providing health education, promoting healthy eating and encouraging and providing physical activity across all ages, we ensure that our programmes are delivered to a high standard by working with relevant partner organisations.

"These include our partnership with Wolverhampton Primary Care Trust, which has been instrumental in securing the funding to deliver health initiatives such as Tackle Diabetes and Wolfie's Workout."

The Tackle Diabetes initiative - of which Katrina used to be project manager - is one of the Trust's flagship projects, and has featured on Match of the Day as an example of a club interacting positively with their community.

Katrina explains: "Tackle Diabetes is a three-year, £500,000 project funded by the Premier League, PFA and Wolverhampton PCT, which focuses on raising awareness of diabetes and its associated risk factors as well as supporting those diagnosed with diabetes to lead a healthier lifestyle.

"The project delivers structured education for people who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes - and covers a wide range of topics relating to the management of diabetes.

"A Wolverhampton University evaluation will ultimately measure the success of the programme, but an interim report in April 2011 showed that, although data at that stage was limited, the results were showing a positive impact."

Among the other projects currently in the Health portfolio are Head for Health and Wolfie's Workouts.

Head for Health takes the form of free coaching sessions at the Wolves Indoor Training Dome, aimed at encouraging mental health service users and support workers to become more physically active.

The Trust is currently trying to source further funding to continue to develop this project.

Meanwhile, Wolfie's Workouts - another PLPFA and Wolverhampton PCT funded initiative - sees the Trust's coaches provide activity sessions for local children, demonstrating the importance of taking part in physical activity at home and in school. The overall aim of Wolfie's Workouts is to contribute towards a reduction in childhood obesity in Wolverhampton.

Katrina is hopeful that both existing and future projects can continue to shape the health of the people of the local area.

She adds: "I hope that the endorsement of health messages from the club and from players can be influential in empowering individuals to make improved lifestyle choices.

"The players have been extremely supportive in the promotion and set-up of new health initiatives and have helped to promote projects in the media. I think the investment from Wolves also demonstrates that it is a priority for the club to give back to the local community - a way of saying thank you for the support they have shown the club over the years.

"The future of health at the Trust will focus on achieving the outcomes of our current projects, working with partners to identify local health needs and sourcing funding with the aim of reducing health inequalities."

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