Following the significant interest in and success of the Belfast Healthy City 25th Anniversary Awards in 2013, this year three Award Categories will be presented in recognition of excellence in addressing a WHO Core theme.
The awards were presented at the Reuniting Planning and Health Conference in November 2014 by Gabriel Scally, WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Urban Environments and Honorary Chair of the awards judging plan.
This category highlights excellence in programmes and activities that aim to tackle inequalities in the city addressing issues such as socio-economic deprivation; food poverty; health promotion initiatives and tackling age or lifestyle related inequalities.
Winner:Council for the Homeless Northern Ireland CHNI Fareshare
The aim of CHNI Fareshare is to tackle food poverty and waste by redistributing surplus food, donated by major supermarkets, to charities including homeless hostels, breakfast clubs and lunch clubs. The project is operated by 25 volunteers who donate around 250 hours of their time each week.
Highly Commended:The Rainbow Project- HIV and Syphilis Rapid Testing
Since 2010, this programme has offered a rapid testing service to gay and bisexual men who are disproportionately affected by these and other sexually transmitted diseases. It aims to create a risk reduction model of health promotion to inform positive mental and sexual health and wellbeing.
Highly Commended:North Belfast Partnership- Rejuvenate Project
This project aims to promote the positive health and wellbeing for men aged 55 and above. It provides the North Belfast Men’s Shed- a space for participants to meet, socialise and learn new skills. It also distributes a quarterly wellbeing newsletter, North Belfast Male, to 22,000 households in the area.
This category recognises achievement in supporting healthy living, focusing on initiatives that encourage and enable people of all ages to live healthier lives while actively participating in society.
Winner: Autism Initiatives NI- Learn to Cycle
Learn to Cycle is a training programme to enable children and young people with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition to gain skills and confidence in cycling with the aim of improving physical and mental wellbeing.
High Commended: Linking Generations NI- An Age Friendly School Project
This is a pilot programme with older people from Cregagh Community Association, which aims to promote the idea of an age-friendly school; develop better linkages with older people in the area and promote Cregagh Primary School as a hub for intergenerational engagement.
High Commended:Creative Local Action Responses & Engagement Community Interest Company (C.L.A.R.E CIC)- Creative Caring Communities
A volunteer based initiative to support vulnerable adults and older people identified by Belfast Health and Social Care Trust as requiring additional support with practical tasks to improve their health and wellbeing that enables them to live independently within their homes and communities.
This award will be presented to a programme or initiative that has significantly contributed to supporting good health through creating supportive and healthy places for people. Healthy Places focuses on how planning, transport and regeneration affect people’s lives, their health and wellbeing and how this shapes disadvantage and inequalities. Applications are encouraged from initiatives that aim to explore and demonstrate how ‘people’ oriented planning can contribute to health and equity, while also supporting the environment and the economy.
The Healthy Places award focuses on how planning, transport and regeneration affect people’s lives and their health and wellbeing The shortlisted projects all explore and demonstrate how ‘people’ oriented planning can contribute to good health and equity in the city, while also supporting the environment and the economy.
Joint Winner: The Conservation Volunteers- Growing Communities
Initiated in 2013, as a positive outcome of Belfast City Council’s Growing Communities Strategy, Growing Communities creates opportunities for local people to become involved in the development of their local community garden or allotment site. The project focuses on grassroots ‘Grow Your Own’ and biodiversity improvement projects and has been delivered throughout the city of Belfast.
Joint Winner: Connswater Community Greenway- Regeneration of Victoria Park and Construction of the Sam Thompson Bridge
The project’s aim was to revitalise Victoria Park in East Belfast, creating a space that improves the quality of life for local people and the wider East Belfast population. The new connection of the Sam Thompson Bridge links the park and local residents to the nearby Harbour Estate and Titanic Quarter. Victoria Park improvements have created a vibrant, safe and accessible place that enhances physical and mental wellbeing.
The judges noted that the three shortlisted projects in this category were all of a high quality. Two in particular were exceptional and proved impossible to separate. As a result, the judging panel decided to name two winners.
Highly Commended: West Belfast Partnership Board- The West Belfast Alleyways Project
The main aim of the project is to revitalise an under-used dead space, at the rear of houses, into a neighbourhood space that promotes community empowerment and sustainable green regeneration. The project works with a range of individuals, groups and communities, including local schools. Activities to date have the construction of raised beds for vegetable growing and a range of practical workshops.