Masks and yoga to protect BAME community from dangers of COVID-19

Ansar Ahmed Ullah

A Northamptonshire charity is funding free yoga and fitness sessions and donating 10,000 face masks to help protect members of the county’s BAME community from COVID-19.

The Centre for Policy, Promotion and Prevention (CPPP) is a non-governmental organisation which works on projects across the UK promoting improved cohesion between marginal communities and the wider society.

With the latest research revealing that the BAME community is particularly susceptible to COVID-19, the charity has organised a five-month fitness and nutrition programme in an attempt to improve the health of those most at risk. The sessions, which will adhere to COVID guidelines and have a maximum of six participants at any one time, will run from November 2020 to March 2021. They will feature women’s yoga classes to be led by instructor Michelle Christie, nutrition advice from Sheena Rose and men’s fitness classes run by CPPP founder Imran Chowdhury. In addition, the charity will donate 10,000 re-useable and fully breathable face masks to anyone who needs them, to help protect against the spread of the virus.

Mr Chowdhury said, “COVID-19 has been a body blow to our community, we have lost so many lives. The BAME community is highly vulnerable, both genetically and also because so many are working on the frontline every day, whether that be in the NHS or as bus drivers or in restaurants. Underlying health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes which is more prevalent in the South East Asian demographic, mean that the chances of dying when contracting COVID are heightened. We are trying to do something about that and change lifestyles, moving away from being sedentary into a much more active way of life with a focus on healthy eating. We need to face this crisis strongly and boldly, by coming together to tackle it head on.”

Charity’s Co-director Naz Islam added, “I lost a close friend to COVID. She was 46. Her death hit me hard and illustrated just how seriously we need to take this. We need to raise the alarm and act now.”

The face masks will be distributed to other local charities such as The Hope Centre and the Northampton Night Shelter while members of the public can request one by contacting the charity.

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