Awareness Week at Manchester libraries
Friday 22nd September 2023
Last week, as part of Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week 2023, Heart Valve Voice and the Greater Manchester Cardiac Network partnered with Manchester Library Services to hold a series of awareness events across the city.
Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week was started by the Global Heart Hub and is celebrated annually. This year, the message was ‘Listen To Your Heart’ with members encouraged to promote awareness of the signs and symptoms of heart valve disease and the importance of getting a stethoscope check if anyone experiences them.
To mark the week, Heart Valve Voice took that Listen To Your Heart message to libraries across Manchester, talking to visitors about the red flag symptoms of heart valve disease and offering them a quick stethoscope check - the simple way to detect the disease. Across nine libraries we listened to 341 hearts, with 56 people found to have a previously undetected cardiac condition.
Libraries in Manchester are essential community hubs that uplift residents, bridge gaps, and promote personal and community development. Each library we visited offered a range of services and resources tailored to the unique needs and challenges faced by local residents.
The aim of the campaign was to bring awareness and education of heart valve disease to the community. Each awareness event was paired with a local event, which supported the older community. We had thousands of conversations across the week and educated many over 65s on the symptoms of heart valve disease and what to do if they or anyone they know experienced them.
Citywide Services Manager of Manchester Libraries, Jane McKelvey, said “Our libraries have evolved to offer a range of services to their communities, so we were delighted to celebrate Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week and promote good health literacy. The feedback from visitors and staff has been excellent, and I look forward to working with Heart Valve Voice and Greater Manchester Cardiac Network on future awareness and education events.”
Heart Valve Voice Executive Director, Wil Woan, said “Taking awareness and education to the community is an essential part of what Heart Valve Voice does. These events enable the charity to embed itself in local trusted settings and connect us with the community and other charities and services in them. Thank you to the library staff and local volunteers for making this happen, it was a fantastic project and one we’re keen to replicate in the future.”