Lord Mayor Frank McCoubrey Launches Belfast Healthy Cities Awards
The Lord Mayor has helped Belfast Healthy Cities, the World Health Organization initiative in Northern Ireland, to launch the 2020 Healthy Cities Awards with a new range of categories which reflect the current priorities of the WHO Healthy Cities programme. Now in their eighth year, the awards recognise the work undertaken by organisations across Belfast to improve the health and wellbeing of our citizens. Joining the Lord Mayor to launch the awards were Shannon Downey from Groundwork NI and Tracy Smyth from Alzheimer’s Society, who were winners of the 2019 Healthy Cities Awards.
The World Health Organization Healthy Cities Programme has now moved into Phase VII, with new priorities and goals, and this year the Healthy Cities Awards will have a new range of categories to reflect these priorities and to recognise the significant work undertaken by community organisations in response to the Covid Crisis.
The new categories are Greening the City, Healthy Transport & Active Travel, Community Prosperity and Mental Wellbeing. Voluntary and community organisations; public and private sector businesses; statutory and other Government bodies who have been working on projects which touch upon any of these areas can enter the Healthy Cities Awards.
Launching the awards, Lord Mayor, Alderman Frank McCoubrey, said “As a councillor, and in particular since becoming Lord Mayor, I have seen countless projects which are working to improve the lives of local people in Belfast. That has only increased during the pandemic, with food deliveries, exercise programmes, gardening projects, and many more support programmes which look after the health and well-being of the community. I am delighted to launch the 2020 Healthy Cities Awards which will showcase this work and recognise those at the forefront of community wellbeing.”
Encouraging organisations across the city who have been working to improve health and wellbeing to apply, Joan Devlin, Chief Executive of Belfast Healthy Cities, said “The importance of community health and wellbeing has never been so relevant. The Covid crisis has led to significant changes in our lifestyles, including positive changes, such as increased walking and the opening up of opportunities for a more active travel infrastructure.
“The 2020 Healthy Cities Awards will now reflect the new priorities of the WHO Healthy Cities Network, with a focus on healthy transport, greening our cities and community prosperity, as well as the importance of mental health and wellbeing. This year we hope to recognise and celebrate the work of so many community groups and organisations across Belfast who have worked hard throughout the Covid crisis to ensure the health and wellbeing of everyone has been supported.”