Brentford have announced a partnership with several leading heart charities to form the Heart of West London initiative.
The club hope to raise awareness about cardiac health, get people exercising to reduce risk of cardiac episodes, get young people screened for cardiac issues, raise money for treatment and research, and provide support for families affected by cardiac conditions.
Brentford and their community sports trust are working together with Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young, Resuscitation Council UK, Pablo London and A-K-A Day.
In a statement, the club said: “In the London Borough of Hounslow, there are around 21,000 people living with heart and circulatory diseases which causes 35 deaths each month.
“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally and it does not discriminate.
“Heart and circulatory diseases cause around a quarter of all deaths in the UK. That’s more than 160,000 deaths each year, or one death every three minutes. Every five minutes someone is admitted to a UK hospital due to a heart attack.
“Our ambition is to ensure that everyone has the skills to save a life and to raise awareness of heart disease and the lifestyle changes necessary to live healthier lives.”
Brentford technical director, Robert Rowan, passed away in 2018 at the age of 28 after suffering a fatal cardiomyopathy episode in his sleep. The club have since worked extensively to raise awareness regarding cardiac health.
Speaking to 90min, Brentford’s General Counsel Nity Raj spoke of how Rowan was an embodiment of the club’s community values, and that they are trying to preserve these with such initiatives despite reaching the heights of the Premier League.
“I suppose this club has always been about people and living the right values. If you let people do that and you encourage the right kind of behaviour, it kind of happens naturally. That is hard in the sense that these are habits which aren’t always easy to follow. If you’ve got the right people, it actually feels easy. With someone like Rob, he embodied those values without ever having to write them down or teach how to do it. He had it right from the start,” Raj said.
“I think with the right people, it’s easy, but it’s something we have to remind ourselves of all the time because with success means people sometimes forget what got you there. I don’t think that will be a huge risk at this club but it’s always something we’ve got to be aware of, we always want to improve ourselves, we’ll continue to try and do that.”
You can read more about Brentford’s Heart of West London partnership here