Project information

Hearts First

To reach out to people with learning disabilities, their families and carers in the Vale of Glamorgan, offering the skills and knowledge needed to protect heart health. Our members will receive training to run fun events for their peers including pop-up theatre, exercise groups and a short film.

March 2017 - March 2018

Charity information: Vale People First Limited

Vale People First Limited logo
  • Need


    People with learning disabilities are 58 times more likely than their non-disabled peers to die before the age of 50. Heart disease is one the leading causes of death for this group. They face health inequalities, finding it harder to access screening and advice.
    There are over 400 adults with learning disabilities living in the Vale of Glamorgan. Over 300 live with unpaid carers. We want to ensure they have the knowledge and skills they need to keep their hearts healthy.


    Our project will inform, empower and enable people with learning disabilities to battle health inequalities. Our members will receive healthy hearts training and share this knowledge throughout their community with fun, interactive events.
    Families and carers will be able to develop the knowledge and skills they need to support their loved ones and look after their own health.
    We will create accessible information leaflets and online resources so more people can benefit from the project.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Raise awareness of healthy hearts issues within the learning disabled community


    » Training and skills development for our learning disabled members
    » Running pop up events, going to people who are isolated because of disability or location.
    » Providing accessible literature, a short film and online content.

    What success will look like

    We will run 15 heart health events reaching over a hundred people with learning disabilities plus carers and care providers and distribute 4 accessible leaflets.

    Aim 2

    Encourage learning disabled people and their carers to make heart–healthy choices


    » Pop up Theatre: Our members will write, direct and perform short, engaging plays about heart health, followed by a question and answer session
    » Social events with “Ask your Heart” quizzes and games. Delivering the message in a fun, interactive way.
    » Pop up exercise events, particularly for people with learning disabilities (and their carers) in residential care or who are rurally remote.
    » Our members will make a short film about heart health to share with their peers across the country

    What success will look like

    Our Surveys and feedback show an increase in knowledge, awareness and healthy decision-making amongst those who participate in the project.

    Aim 3

    For people with learning disabilities to deliver the “Hearts First” message to their peers


    » Training sessions for our new and existing members on how to have a healthy heart and equip them to deliver this message to their peers
    » One to one support from our Hearts First facilitator to help them develop the confidence and skills to deliver this message.
    » Our members will write, direct and act in a short film about heart health.
    » Our members will write and design accessible leaflets about heart health

    What success will look like

    We will train and support 15 of our members to become Hearts First Ambassadors

    Aim 4

    To enable people with learning disabilities to learn new skills and access more support to improve


    » Pop up Theatre: short, engaging plays about heart health, followed by a question and answer session
    » Training events promoting healthy eating ideas.
    » Information on how to access healthcare and disability awareness training for healthcare providers

    What success will look like

    We will show that at least 50% of people who access the project will learn a new skill, such as relaxation and 40% will go on to access health screening.

  • Impact


    We hope to see: a rise in the numbers of learning disabled people who access screening and heart health support; a long-term improvement in heart health in our community of interest and the adoption of healthier lifestyles. We will collect feedback and data measuring :how many people have participated or accessed information; what they feel they have gained from the project; what lifestyle changes they have made and how many go on to seek support and screening from health care providers.


    Our major risk is not having sufficient funding to provide the resources our members and the learning disabled community deserve to ensure the project delivers the skills training and support required .We have an active fundraising strategy to guard against this.
    A further risk is low levels of participation. However we are confident we will tackle this by developing a peer-to-peer support campaign that is fun, mobile and interactive.


    We will monitor the work we do and the changes it makes to people’s lives. Donors can watch our progress through regular newsletters and updates to our social media pages and website. Donors will be welcome at our vibrant AGM to hear about the project and the other work of Vale People First.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £19,458

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £9,258 salaries Cost of staff hours directly providing the service including National Insurance and pension
      £1,500 Management and Monitoring Costs of coordinating and moni
      £2,900 Travel and Expenses Staff and members mileage, travel costs and general expenses.
      £1,300 Training Training for staff and Members to ensure we can deliver the project effectively and increase skills
      £1,500 Office Costs Running costs of project including phone, postage, stationary, utilities, and insurances
      £1,000 Office and Meeting Space Office and meeting space
      £2,000 Events, leaflets and film To fund pop up events, catering, leaflets Production and editing of short film
  • Background


    The Vale of Glamorgan has a diverse blend of rurally isolated areas and areas of urban deprivation, communities where there is low uptake of support.
    There are over 400 adults with learning disabilities living in the Vale of Glamorgan. Over 300 live with unpaid carers. Pressures on local authority funding mean many have seen cuts to the support and advice they can access. Vale People First works to ensure the people with learning disabilities have a voice and a choice in these difficult times.


    Our project will reach out to people with learning disabilities throughout the Vale of Glamorgan. As the project provides peer- to peer support, it will meet their needs and be completely accessible.
    Families and carers will benefit as they acquire the knowledge and skills they need to support their loved ones and look after their own heart health.
    Other organisations and local healthcare providers will benefit from the health changes the project will bring about.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Vale People First is a self-advocacy organisation led by, and for, people with a learning disability. We have a strong network of members,supporters and close contacts within local third sector and statutory organisations. Our members have created award-winning films, influenced decision makers and formed a network of support enabling learning-disabled people to have equal access to activities, healthcare, friendships and relationships.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Liz Davidson


    Geoff Davies


    Rose Brewer

    Young Person's Facilitator

    Adam Hughes

    Trustee with a learning disability