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Football fans encouraged to get free health check from ‘Spurs nurse’

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Football fans in North London are being encouraged to get a free health check tomorrow from a community practitioner dubbed the ‘Spurs nurse’ while also getting to meet their sporting heroes.

Under a unique pop-up clinic scheme, Ida Blake delivers health checks normally only available in GP surgeries in busy community areas, such as shopping centres.

“We aim to use our unique appeal as a football club to promote healthy lifestyles amongst residents”

Gary Mabbutt

Known as the Spurs nurse, she is the only qualified community health practitioner to be employed by a football club community scheme – the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.

Her clinic normally operates in Haringey but is now being extended to the neighbouring borough of Brent because the football club is set to play its UEFA Champions League home matches at Wembley stadium this season due to building work at White Hart Lane.

On Wednesday, Ms Blake will be offering checks to members of the public at the London Designer Outlet in Wembley Park Boulevard.

Checks will include measuring height and weight, waist circumference, cholesterol, blood pressure, questions about family history and lifestyle and cardiovascular risk score.

She will be joined by Tottenham Hotspur and England striker Harry Kane, and former team captain Gary Mabbutt for a public autograph signing session from 3.30 to 5.30pm.

The Community Health Checks scheme was launched in March 2014 by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation in partnership with Haringey Council.

Primarily aimed at using the appeal of football to reach men aged 35 and over, who are usually reluctant to visit their GP, it has so far seen over 4,000 people get health checks in Haringey.

It is designed to assess the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and some forms of dementia, while also providing advice and assistance on how to reduce any established health risks.

Almost half of those checked in Haringey so far had high cholesterol and 4% were recognised as being at risk of heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years. Nearly 10% had pre-diabetes or diabetes, with 72% falling in to the category of being overweight or obese.

Tottenham Hotspur Foundation/Brent Council

Nurse targets football fans for free health check

Krupesh Hirani

Tomorrow’s event forms part of Brent Council’s My Heart Beats for Brent campaign, which aims to encourage local residents to take part in at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day using the borough’s facilities and open spaces.

Gary Mabbutt, who won the FA Cup at Wembley in 1991, said: “Given the Borough of Brent is becoming our temporary home, it is important for us as a club to engage with the local community here as we do in Tottenham and we aim to use our unique appeal as a football club to promote healthy lifestyles amongst residents.”

Krupesh Hirani, Brent council’s cabinet member for community wellbeing, said: “We are delighted to welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Wembley, and to have the club’s support for the My Heart Beats for Brent campaign is brilliant.”

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