Residents living within the Creggan area of Newry and Mourne have been participating in healthy lifestyle activities encouraging physical activity and healthy eating. The healthy lifestyle programme was funded by the Southern Investing for Health Partnership’s (SIHP) Small Grants Programme. (A partnership supported by the Public Health Agency). The varied programme which was attended by over 70 people, consisted of a six week cookery class raising the awareness and benefits of cooking nutritious meals for the whole family and the provision of a luncheon club for 20 people held every two weeks in Creggan Church of Ireland Parish Hall. The local walking club 'Creggan Walkers and Talkers' were also able to purchase fresh fruit and water for its members. Speaking of the benefits that the funding had upon the group and local community, Secretary of Creggan Church of Ireland Hall Management Committee Kenny Donaldson said: “Thanks to the £1000 award that we received from the SIHP this enabled us to roll-out a diverse healthy and active living programme for local people.” “The group is committed to promoting the positive and mental health and well being of residents living throughout the Creggan ward and surrounding area and this project has kick-started further health and well being initiatives, he said.” Investing for Health Officer with the SIHP Aisling Rennick added: “With physical activity being a key priority of the Public Health Agency, we are delighted to support this local initiative. Regular exercise has a number of health related benefits. It can help to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke, diabetes or heart disease, help weight control and can reduce the risks of some cancers. Exercise can also help to reduce stress, anxiety or depression as well as aiding sleep. Aisling concluded: “Those who took part in the cookery demonstrations will also have a greater understanding of healthy eating and good nutritional habits.” For further information on the Southern Investing for Health Partnership log onto www.southernifh.com
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