London Borough of Croydon

Croydon Heart Town logo

Bag It. Beat It. 2016

This September Croydon Heart Town is supporting the British Heart Foundation’s national campaign to ‘Bag It. Beat It’.  We’re asking you to rummage through your wardrobe and bag up unwanted but good quality clothes, accessories, books, DVDs and bric-a-brac for us to sell in our charity shops.

Your unwanted stuff will help to fund the research so urgently needed to protect women from the devastation of heart disease.

Around 28,000 women die from a heart attack each year in the UK – that’s three every hour. But surveys have shown that women are less likely than men to recognise the symptoms of a heart attack and seek help.

Donations to Bag it. Beat it. will help us to fund research to help better diagnose and treat women with heart disease.

Previously, your donations helped researchers in Edinburgh develop a new test that better diagnoses women who are suspected of having a heart attack. With further funding from us, the researchers will carry out an even bigger clinical trial of the test, which could save lives and save the NHS money.

Bags are available from – and once filled, can be dropped off at your local BHF shop. 

Fitter Fans

Heart Town has given its backing to the Crystal Palace 'Fitter Fans' scheme. This is aimed primarily at men aged 30 and over and aims to improve overall health and fitness through a free 10 week course. Each session lasts two hours and includes a workshop and fitness session. The workshops cover topics like healthy eating, stopping smoking, CPR and general health and fitness, as well as a Q&A session with current and former players. The most recent group to graduate through the programme was made up of 22 fans aged between 30 and 70 years old. Fifteen of them managed to lose weight, 16 saw a reduction in blood pressure, one participant saw his waist shrink by a massive 12cm! After completing the course the fans can join the next level of the programme and take part in weekly football training sessions. The scheme has helped over 250 fans improve their health.

"The fitter fan session yesterday was awesome. The warm-up session was very professional and at a good level for all involved. The fitness test was gruelling but very rewarding... Basketball was so much fun… You don't even realise you’re actually working out and getting healthier. I think it's because we all laugh and share the common goal of becoming fitter."

Food Flagship

In 2014 Croydon was awarded flagship status, along with Lambeth, following a commitment by the Mayor of London and the Department for Education to fund two pilot schemes using the findings of the School Food Plan.

Our Flagship status enables us to play a leading role in improving London’s food system as a whole, by sharing the benefits learnt with other areas of the capital.

We want children and their families to know how to grow and cook healthy food, and that this is an affordable option for them. The aim is for:

  • More families to eat good quality food in and out of home.
  • More families to cook healthier meals.
  • More food to be eaten in Croydon that has been grown locally.

Activities will range from improving the food provision in schools, to working with businesses to pilot innovative community projects. This work complements our ongoing plans to help residents lead longer, healthier lives after being awarded Heart Town status by the British Heart Foundation in 2013.

For more information please visit

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Shockingly Easy

Croydon Council’s Heart Town initiative has been working with the CCG and London Ambulance Service to encourage businesses and organisations across Croydon to install a defibrillator in their business, shop or organisation.

There are around 10,000 cardiac arrests in London every year. Having a defibrillator within easy reach of someone having a cardiac arrest can often mean the difference between life and death. Around 32 per cent of people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest but, where there is a defibrillator and someone trained to use it, the chance of survival can increase to 80 per cent.

To launch the campaign we hosted an event with the London Ambulance Service in the Whitgift Centre. The Resuscitation team gave demonstrations to more than 120 people. There was also a photo opportunity with the Lead member of the Council for People & Communities, Louisa Woodley, Councillor Maggie Mansell –Chair of the Health & Wellbeing board and Dr Mike Robinson, Director of Public Health Croydon. An article was then featured in the local newspaper.

We followed this up by attending a Croydon Chamber of Commerce networking event where we handed out flyers and promoted the campaign to local businesses.

With the help of the Resuscitation team we attended the ‘We Mean Business’ Expo event. We hosted a stand and gave out flyers throughout the event – the biggest business expo event in South London.

At the Croydon Visitor Centre – next door to East Croydon station with approximately 600 visitors a day – there was a plasma screen advert promoting the campaign intermittently and flyers available for people to pick up.

The campaign featured in Council community publications – ‘Your Croydon’ and ‘Our Croydon’ which is distributed to over 2,000 local businesses and groups. We used Twitter and Facebook to regularly promote the campaign.

We sent out over 400 emails and letters to businesses and organisations in the borough. These included GP surgeries, Pharmacies, hotels, gyms, faith organisations and the 40 largest companies in Croydon.

The campaign in Croydon has led to;

  • 16 new enquiries,
  • 24 new accreditations,
  • 1 accredited new purchase, and
  • 11 new defibrillators purchased but yet to be accredited.

Chris Hartley-Sharpe, Operational lead for the Shockingly Easy campaign, London Ambulance Service said:

"The Shockingly Easy campaign was launched to increase the number of public access defibrillators in London to help improve the out of hospital cardiac arrest survival rate. As a low cost / no cost campaign, we are heavily dependent on our campaign ‘ambassadors’ to spread the word on our behalf. Croydon Council is an excellent example of a borough that has championed our campaign at a local level to encourage local organisations to set up a defibrillator scheme. We hope other boroughs will follow their lead."

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Heart Town Croydon

Address Line:

Public Health

Bernard Weatherill House

8 Mint Walk