VIDEO | Striker supports stop smoking and blood pressure work

Charlton Athletic striker Nicky Ajose attended a Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) health improvement event in Woolwich on Thursday 22 February to support some of the blood pressure and smoking cessation work the organisation is commissioned to deliver on behalf of the Royal Borough of Greenwich

Nicky is CACT’s new Health Ambassador, promoting a range of health improvement initiatives.

The event started in St James’ Pharmacy on Powis Street before moving to CACT’s mobile unit in Beresford Square in Woolwich, where advisors carried out blood pressure, lung age and carbon monoxide checks. The Blood Pressure – Be Sure Roadshow and the Kick The Habit smoking cessation initiatives are part of the comprehensive health improvement programme CACT delivers in conjunction with the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Quit Your Way Today, a roadshow to support local residents to quit smoking, is ongoing on Tuesdays to Saturdays across Royal Greenwich until 10 March. Smokers are four times as likely to quit with support. Click here for a full list of the five locations it takes place in.

On becoming CACT’s Health Ambassador, Nicky said:

“It’s something I’m interested in anyway, keeping fit, health and nutrition. So when the club mentioned it, I was more than happy to do it. It’s really important in this day and age to have the right amount of nutrition and exercise levels.”

Nicky, who had his blood pressure tested, discussed the importance of monitoring blood pressure levels with the pharmacist.

“People with higher blood pressure tend to have more problems in life like strokes and heart problems”, he said.

“The general message is: try and eat reasonably healthily, and exercise as and when you can – it doesn’t have to be every day. Even just walking to the shop, walking your dog, a little bit of exercise, I think it’s important.”

The Blood Pressure – Be Sure Roadshow last autumn encouraged nearly 1,500 people to get their blood pressure checked, while


St James’ Pharmacy is one of a number of pharmacies across the Royal Borough offering free blood pressure checks without an appointment. Royal Greenwich has published a list of all the others.

The event was also attended by Cllr David Gardner, the Royal Borough’s Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, Jackie Davidson, Royal Greenwich’s Assistant Director of Public Health, and Raj Matharu, CEO of Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich Local Pharmacy Committee.

Speaking about how members of the public can maintain healthy blood pressure levels, Cllr Gardner said:

“I think it’s diet, it’s exercise, keeping fit, keeping healthy. Mental wellbeing, trying to de-stress and so forth. If you’ve got high blood pressure and you’re not taking medication, it could easily lead to strokes and heart attacks and so forth, and that could be life-changing, obviously.”

Watch a video round-up of the event, including an extended interview with Nicky Ajose, below.

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