Local charity Action Cancer and independent retail group Centra have presented their annual Health Action Awards

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Erin McGrath and Lewis Vance, both aged 4 from Trinity Nursery School in Bangor having fun getting their exercise.

Top marks for Healthy Schools….

Local charity Action Cancer and independent retail group Centra have presented their annual Health Action Awards to the schools they have judged as Northern Ireland’s healthiest.

For eleven years the Health Action awards have acknowledged the best health promotion projects in nurseries, schools and colleges across Northern Ireland.

Thirty schools picked up accolades for their innovative approach to health education, with the highest scoring schools in each Education and Library Board region receiving cash prizes of £200. In addition, The Stewart Bryans Memorial Prize of £400 was awarded to Moat Primary School, Lisnaskea for demonstrating the best overall improvement to health education policies over the past year.

The healthy school awards are part of Action Cancer’s Health Action initiative, which provides a range of health promotion sessions for schools and colleges, and is sponsored by Centra. Almost 500,000 young people have taken part in the programme since 2003.

Action Cancer Health Promotion Manager Frances Dowds said; “The Health Action awards are unique in Northern Ireland; encouraging local schools that provide first class health education to children and motivating others to do the same. With Centra’s support Action Cancer delivers healthy lifestyle sessions to tens of thousands of young people every year, with the aim of creating new, healthy behaviours, which will reduce their risk of getting cancer. “

Health Action aims to educate young people on the importance of a healthy diet, care in the sun and the need to take exercise to help reduce future incidences of cancer. The award-winning programme is supported by Centra retailers across Northern Ireland, who have raised over £900,000 to fund it since the partnership started.

Nikki McDowell from Centra commented; “Centra retailers in Northern Ireland have committed their long-term support to Action Cancer’s life-saving work in schools, and they are proud to continue providing funding and promotional support to the programme as a way of giving something back to the community.”

A full list of 2014 award winners is available at www.actioncancer.org

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