Project is ‘tackling health inequalities’

From left to right: Michael Owen (PHA); Florence Hand (NHSCT); Carrick Mayor, Alderman Charles Johnston; Jane Turnbull (event facilitator) and Stephanie Leckey (BHF NI).  INCT 50-726-CON
From left to right: Michael Owen (PHA); Florence Hand (NHSCT); Carrick Mayor, Alderman Charles Johnston; Jane Turnbull (event facilitator) and Stephanie Leckey (BHF NI). INCT 50-726-CON

A local health project is continuing to tackle one of the most common causes of death in the Carrickfergus borough, residents have heard.

At a stakeholder event last month, local people and colleagues heard of the achievements of the Hearty Lives project to date.

In a 2011 report, cardiovascular disease was recognised as the second biggest killer in the borough after cancer.

In an effort to tackle the problem, Hearty Lives was re-launched in the area last year as a partnership between Carrickfergus Borough Council, the British Heart Foundation, the Public Health Agency and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.

The scheme aims to improve the heart health of local people by encouraging them to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Speaking at the event, Myrtle Frazer, a member of Carrick Cultivators Club, said: “My husband and others in the Carrick area have really benefited from attending a local luncheon club. There are great social benefits to getting out and meeting others. The visits from the Hearty Lives team to the luncheon club have been incredibly beneficial.

“Through these visits I have learnt about diet and exercise and I particularly benefited from lessons on reading food labels. The project has really made a difference to the health and wellbeing of my husband and me.”

Alderman Charles Johnston, Mayor of Carrickfergus added: “Over the years I have been concerned to hear some of the health statistics for the Carrick area – particularly around cardiovascular disease, female life expectancy and maternal and childhood obesity.

“I am hopeful that by continuing to work in partnership we can address some of the inequalities in health which currently exist in this borough.”