Local charity Action Cancer and independent retail group Centra have hosted their annual Health Action Awards, recognising schools with the best health education programmes in Northern Ireland.
Since 2003 the Health Action Awards have acknowledged the best health promotion projects in nursery, primary and secondary schools/colleges in Northern Ireland with this year’s awards taking place at Titanic, Belfast.
Almost sixty 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 the City of Derry’s Carnhill Nursery School, for demonstrating the best overall improvement to health education policies over the past year.
The Awards are part of Action Cancer’s Health Action initiative which provides a range of health promotion sessions for schools and colleges across Northern Ireland. The programme is sponsored by Centra and has seen almost 500,000 young people take part since its launch.
Action Cancer Health Promotion Manager Frances Dowds said, “It is fantastic to be able to recognise the great work local schools carry out to provide their pupils with health education. It is so important for Action Cancer, with the support of Centra, to deliver our healthy lifestyle sessions and I feel this endorses our aim to reduce cancer through the creation of new and healthy behaviours.”
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 risks of cancer. The award-winning programme is supported by Centra retailers across Northern Ireland, who have raised almost £900,000 to fund it since the partnership started.
Nikki McDowell from Centra commented; “Congratulations to all of the schools who have been recognised at this year’s Health Action Awards. Centra are delighted to be able to support the promotion of healthy, active lifestyles for children across Northern Ireland. Our retailers are proud to continue this long-term sponsorship of Action Cancer’s health programme and support young people within their local communities.”
A full list of the 2015 award winners is available at www.actioncancer.org