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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

The launch of the third and fourth chapters in our profile of Belfast took place in August with an online seminar featuring Belfast Healthy Cities Expert Advisor Erica Ison; Victoria Ramsey, Climate Services Scientist with the UK Met Office; and Joan Devlin, our Chief Executive. The session was chaired by BHC Board Member Ian Montgomery. 

Belfast Healthy Cities, the World Health Organization initiative in Northern Ireland, has welcomed four new board members as they embark on the roll out of Phase VII (2020-2026) of the WHO Healthy Cities programme. 

The new members will help support the organisation as they begin to develop a range of programmes based upon the priorities of Phase VII, which has its roots in the Belfast Charter, agreed at the Healthy Cities International Conference held in Belfast in 2018. 

The second chapter of our profile of the city has been launched, with an online seminar featuring expert speakers from Belfast and WHO.  The Prosperity chapter follows the launch of the People chapter in May, and make up the first two chapters of the full

On Tuesday 24th May we launched the PEOPLE chapter of the new city profile, Belfast - Profiling Health, Wellbeing & Prosperity, to a virtual audience of health and community professionals. PEOPLE is the first full chapter of the profile to be published, following the publication of the  summary document in April. 

Belfast Healthy Cities, the World Health Organisation project in Northern Ireland, has been working in partnership with teachers, community champions, the Ministerial Advisory Group and the Youth Education Health Advice (YEHA) centre to set up and develop ‘walking buses’ in the north Belfast Care Zone area. Three local primary schools will pioneer the walking bus model during Walk to School week, which runs from 16-20 May.

Belfast Healthy Cities, the World Health Organisation body in Northern Ireland is asking election candidates across the city to count the number of steps they take during the last two weeks of the of the campaign, and to take in their walking surroundings while canvassing for votes.

Through the BHC Election Walkability Challenge candidates are asked to send in their total number of steps and Belfast Healthy Cities will keep a running total of individual candidates and the overall figure. 

The importance of green space for health and well-being was the centre of discussion at an expert led seminar hosted by Belfast Healthy Cities. Greening for Health in Belfast heard from Mark Whittaker, a senior planner from Belfast City Council, and Denise Cahill from Cork Healthy Cities, as well as Aranvir Singh Gawera, Programme Officer, Belfast Healthy Cities, who set out what the Greening the City programme aims to deliver for Belfast.

A new resource which teaches school children about the role of community pharmacies and the health information and support they can provide has been launched. The Pharmacy Schools Programme launched by the Minister for Health, Robin Swann, along with the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Cathy Harrison was developed by Belfast Healthy Cities working in partnership with the Department of Health. 

Belfast Healthy Cities is celebrating the work that has been undertaken to make Belfast a healthier city with their annual awards. The 2021 Healthy City Awards have been launched, with the help of 2020 Healthy City Award winner Maria Burke from Ligoniel Healthy Living Centre.

Now in their 9th year, the Healthy City Awards aim to recognise the work undertaken by organisations across Belfast to improve the health and wellbeing of the citizens living there.

Belfast has been officially designated as a World Health Organization European Healthy City for the seventh phase of the programme.

Belfast’s ongoing inclusion in the Network was confirmed when Lord Mayor Councillor Kate Nicholl signed the designation certificate with Belfast Healthy Cities Interim Chair Dr Karen Casson.

The WHO Healthy Cities Network is a global collection of cities which are pledged to improve the health of citizens and reduce health inequalities, particularly among vulnerable groups.