NI Chest Heart and Stroke launches a hearty lunch

NI Chest Heart and Stroke launches a hearty lunch

Leading health charity NI Chest Heart & Stroke (NICHS) is inviting everyone to take part in Northern Ireland’s biggest-ever lunch. 

The appropriately named ‘Hearty Lunch’ which is supported by Kingsmill, will be held on June 17 and will encourage people to host a simple lunch, invite friends and charge each of them a modest fee, which will be donated to the charity’s work.

TV chef Jenny Bristow got the Hearty Lunch off to a tasty start with an impromptu lunch in the grounds of Belfast City Hall. Jenny said: “The Hearty Lunch will be the biggest lunch date in Northern Ireland, so sign up now to get your information pack and support the work of a wonderful local charity.”

NICHS is also issuing a challenge to host the most extreme lunch – the furthest from Northern Ireland, the highest, the lowest, the strangest, the fastest, the slowest or whatever else takes your fancy. One of its support groups is planning to take over the Mall in Armagh for a 1950s-style street party. All ideas are welcome, provided they pose no risk to the participants.

The aim of the event is to encourage as many people as possible to have a healthy, cost effective meal and seek a minimum donation from each person attending. People might also want to hold other fundraising opportunities at the lunch, such as a raffle.  

Andrew Dougal, NICHS Chief Executive said: “20 people a day in Northern Ireland die from a chest, heart and stroke illness. The Hearty Lunch will raise funds to support NICHS local services such as cardiac, stroke and respiratory support groups across Northern Ireland. "

As part of their support for the event Kingsmill, the bread brand will be making sure everyone can use their loaf by supplying a free loaf to everyone who registers to take part in the ‘Hearty Lunch’. Victoria Brown, Kingsmill marketing and communication executive said: “We are very pleased to be able to support the work of NI Chest Heart and Stroke and the Hearty Lunch is a great fundraising event to be part of. Everyone in Northern Ireland knows someone affected by a chest, heart or stroke illnesses and it is great to be able to offer our support.”  

Ideas to get people started on the Hearty Lunch are being posted on the charity’s web site There is also an NICHS Facebook page containing tips, information and healthy recipes, so you don’t have to use your loaf – except for making the sandwiches, of course.

To request a Hearty Lunch registration pack contact NICHS on 028 9032 0184 or email or visit

Further information

contact Brian Kennedy on 028 9032 0184 or 0750 225 2822 or email Or Vanessa Elder, NICHS Fundraising Manager on 0783 782 0795.

Photo caption:
It’s the most important lunch date of 2011!  TV chef Jenny Bristow gets the NI Chest Heart and Stroke ‘Hearty Lunch’ off to a tasty start by appealing for everyone in Northern Ireland to take part on the 17 June.

Notes to the editor

Please note that NI Chest Heart & Stroke has dropped the word “Association” from its title. This is to avoid confusion with the London-based charity The Stroke Association, which has begun operating in Northern Ireland.

1. Chest, Heart and Stroke Statistics for Northern Ireland

  • More than half of all deaths in Northern Ireland are caused by chest, heart or stroke illness.
  • More than 7,500 people each year die from a chest, heart or stroke illness - that’s more than 20 every day.
  • Around 3,000 people each year die from respiratory disease.
  • 60 people a week die of heart disease.
  • Nearly twice as many women under the age of 75 die from heart disease as from breast cancer.
  • More than 3,000 people each year suffer a stroke.
  • Heart disease and stroke kill more people than all the cancers combined.

2. NICHS Vision

Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke’s vision is a Northern Ireland where chest, heart and stroke illnesses have been substantially reduced and where those affected receive high quality services to meet their needs.

To achieve this the work of NICHS is focused in 4 areas: Research, Care Services, Advocacy and Lobbying and Health Promotion. All the work of NICHS is based within Northern Ireland, so every donation goes to support local services and people.