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Belfast Healthy Cities

Our vision is that Belfast is recognised globally
as a healthy, equitable and sustainable city

Healthy Cities 21st Century

News Stories

Belfast Healthy Cities represents the city of Belfast, within the World Health Organization (WHO) European Healthy Cities Network.  We are now in Phase VII (2020 – 2026) of the WHO Healthy Cities Network and the core themes are People; Place; Participation; Prosperity; Peace; and Planet. Our programmes are delivered using a partnership approach and introduce new concepts to Belfast through membership of the WHO Network. 

The opportunity has now arisen to appoint a Senior Policy & Programme Officer. The successful post holder will be part of a small but effective team working to deliver ongoing programmes.   

Belfast Healthy Cities recently hosted a teacher training day at Clifton House, bringing together Key Stage 2 teachers and 'World Around Us' coordinators to learn about the 'Healthy Places, Healthy Children' teaching resource. The event provided a collaborative platform for schools across Northern Ireland to share their experiences with the programme and gain insights for effectively incorporating the resource in the 2024/2025 school year. 

Belfast Healthy Cities is championing sustainable travel and the use of green spaces through its innovative Walking Bus project for schools across Belfast. A Walking Bus mimics the traditional bus route, where a group of children walk to school under the supervision of adults, promoting a healthy, active lifestyle along with environmental consciousness.

Belfast Healthy Cities has appointed Charlene Brooks as its new Chief Executive. 

The Chief Executive of Belfast Healthy Cities, Joan Devlin, is stepping down from her role after almost 30 years at the helm. Belfast has been a designated ‘Healthy City’ in the World Health Organization European Healthy Cities Network for 35 years and Joan has been Chief Executive for the vast majority of that time.

Throughout the year, Belfast celebrated 35 years as a designated WHO Healthy City. This culminated in December with a celebration event at Belfast Harbour Office.

Children from across Northern Ireland are spending this year’s Self Care Week learning about pharmacy awareness.  

More than 100 schools are taking part, with pupils from P1 to P7 learning about what it means to be ‘pharmacy aware’.

The Pharmacy Schools Programme, developed by Belfast Healthy Cities and in partnership with the Department of Health, provides children with knowledge and life-skills, enabling them to better understand the role of community pharmacies, what they’re there for and how to use them.

Belfast Healthy Cities welcomed Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir Michael McBride, to launch six chapters of the profile publication ‘BELFAST Profiling Health, Wellbeing & Prosperity  - Has COVID-19 changed our city?’ 

The profile chapters are a follow up to the initial chapters produced within ‘BELFAST Profiling Health, Wellbeing & Prosperity: The data behind the people and the city’, produced in 2022. 

Belfast Healthy Cities and Queens University Belfast partnered on a joint webinar, highlighting the intertwined and historical relationship between urban planning, Belfast’s history, and public health. The event saw local experts discuss the profound influence of Belfast's history on the city's current public health landscape.

Anne McCusker, programme manager at Belfast Healthy Cities commented:

Belfast Healthy Cities have launched the East Belfast Green Health Map.

Organisations and community groups were invited to find out more about the resource and how they can share and support use of the Green Health Map moving forward.

The resource was developed by Belfast Healthy Cities in partnership with EastSide Greenways and East Belfast Community Development Agency.

It brings together key messages linked to greening and health, and encourages people to use their local green spaces.

The Green Health Map supports individuals and communities to be: