Children in Tower Hamlets and Newham offered chance to study real human heart

Centre of the Cell is suspended above laboratories at Queen Mary University London. Picture: Queen M

Centre of the Cell is suspended above laboratories at Queen Mary University London. Picture: Queen Mary University London. - Credit: Queen Mary University London

Children from disadvantaged schools are being offered the chance to study a real human heart to better understand their own.

A £9,000 grant from Heart Research UK and Subway is funding the project that will also include interactive workshops.

The experience will be available to pupils in Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham.

Students from the Bengali community are of special priority, as they are more vulnerable to circulatory diseases.

According to the British Heart Foundation, people from a South Asian background are up to 50 per cent more likely to develop coronary heart disease than white Europeans. This is down to factors that include body shape and genetics.

Umme Aysha, development manager at Centre of the Cell, which is hosting the specimen and workshops, said: “We’re hopeful that by engaging this group at a young age and offering them an insight into a working heart we can inspire them to make positive health choices, inspirational career paths and turn back the clock on heart disease.”

Centre of the Cell is an education centre suspended above the working laboratories at Queen Mary University London.

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As well as improving knowledge of how the heart works, the centre also encourages children to pursue careers in clinical investigation.

The grant from Heart Research UK will pay for the installation of the preserved human heart and the adjoining programme will describe its life and then death from coronary heart disease.

Subway’s contribution comes from donations made by customers and from money raised in Subway-branded 5K fun runs.

Sarah Mirfin, Healthy Heart coordinator at Heart Research UK, said: “Everyone should be given the opportunity to live a healthier, happier, longer life. I’m happy that this funding will allow more children to be inspired to improve the heart health of themselves and others.”

Since it was founded in 1967, Heart Research UK has given more than £25 million to fund medical research in hospitals and universities across the UK.

Primary school teachers in Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham who think their pupils will benefit from a visit to the centre are encouraged to contact Umme Aysha on 020 7882 2476.

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