What is Winning Hearts and Minds?

The Winning Hearts and Minds programme will work with local communities to:

  1. Reduce the rate of early deaths from heart disease in Manchester to 50 per 100,000 by 2027

  2. Help people manage their mental health.

Heart disease

Heart disease, also knows as cardiovascular disease, is a general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels. Many of the causes of heart disease are avoidable. Small changes to what we eat, how much we exercise and stopping smoking can massively reduce our risk of developing heart disease.

There is evidence to show that people can feel better and stronger if they choose to take action, rather than being told to do something.

Health and wellbeing in an area can be improved by increasing community activity with a broader range of people, activities and local services.

Community activity can be stimulated by starting with what’s important to local people, building trust and relationships from the ground up.

Much of the programme is focusing on community development in order to create the conditions needed for heart and mental health to flourish. Those conditions will be created by community-driven improvements. By undertaking community development work, the programme is seeking to support local people achieve goals that are important to them.

Mental Health

Every person has mental health, we all have good and bad days. Winning Hearts and Minds wants to make sure that people in Manchester have equal access to support across the city to help them on those bad days. That means that no matter where you live in Manchester, there is someone you can speak to. This might be a neighbour, a local community group or a health service.

People who have Severe and Enduring Mental Illness (SMI), on average, die 15 years earlier than someone without an SMI (read more). There is no physical reason that this should be the case. The Winning Hearts and Minds programme aims to work with communities to help support people with SMI to stay well.


The Winning Hearts and Minds programme will work in partnership with the local community and other organisations to offer support and advice that works best for each community. People are at the heart of what we do.

Aims for Manchester’s communities:

  • To improve the conditions that create health in the most socially disadvantaged neighbourhoods;

  • To reduce levels of physical inactivity (i.e. reduce the number of adults undertaking less than 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week);

  • To reduce the number of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular events;

  • To improve the physical health of people with Severe and Enduring Mental Illness (SMI);

  • To strengthen connections, relationships and collective action for healthy lifestyles.