A SCHEME helping people with long-term health conditions to become physically active has received a £74,500 boost from Sport England.

Wirral Council is one of 10 local authorities awarded funds as it was also revealed more than one in five residents have a long-term condition. The grant will support a targeted programme to help improve overall health and wellbeing.

Cllr Julie McManus, cabinet member for community services, said: "I am thrilled to be announcing this funding that will aim to reach out to residents who may struggle to get out and about or be physically active.

"While the project will increase activity, this funding will also be vital in decreasing social isolation across the borough.

"I anticipate the great impact this could in turn have on mental health in addition to physical health.”

Running for one year, the backing will see leisure services use ambassadors to help increase activity and socialisation.

The programme, starting later this year, will look to run longer than the initial 12 months with the ambition of being sustainable beyond this period.

Sport England's strategic health lead Sarah Ruane said: "You're twice as likely to be inactive if you have a long-term health condition.

"We would like to change that, because even small amounts of activity can make a significant difference to people's lives including their health and quality of life.

"That's why we're proud to be investing National Lottery funding in Wirral Borough Council's programme to support people living with long term health conditions to become physically active.

"It is work like this that goes a long way to ensure that people feel able and supported to get active or play sport in whatever way suits them."

In addition to the ambassadors, a central depository of local opportunities will be created both online and out in the community.

The ambassadors will be upskilled through a specific training programme utilising current available resources to provide them with knowledge on behaviour change and motivational interviewing techniques that will support new participants to the project.