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Social Inclusion through health volunteering in Birmingham

10th May 2012

We had a great time on Tuesday when the Bishop of Birmingham joined the swing dance class which is part of our cardio volunteer scheme. To our utter shamed we filmed him and posted it here!

There is though a serious point.

The Bishop is leading a new Social Inclusion Process for the city.  The aim is to understand the impact of social exclusion,  explore what works to tackle it, and make recommendations on how to achieve the overall vision for a high quality of life for all Birmingham citizens.  Jackie Mould, Director of Birmingham Strategic Partnership,  describes it as

“Our vision for this process is to develop a new approach that will help raise aspirations and bring listing change to the quality of life for our most disadvantaged communities and neighbourhoods. “

Gateway runs a unique volunteer programme in Birmingham that both supports people to find a way back in to work, and helps people stay healthy after having a heart attack.

We have strong links with the University Hospital Birmingham and together, through the use of volunteers, run a Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme.  So far the project has helped 7 people who were unemployed get jobs, (one of them, who you can see in the video, is our key worker Paul Key)  -with one more now in full time training.

Bishop David said:

The cardio volunteer programme is an excellent partnership between Gateway Family Services CIC and University Hospitals Birmingham.  These regular dance sessions are a great way of heart patients getting exercise in a supportive and sociable setting, helping their recovery and having fun at the same time.

For more information about the social inclusion process visit


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