Derry gears up for ‘Big Health Check’

The Big Health Check team - Bronagh Cooper (event organiser), Leeane Monk (event co-ordinator), Una Hume (volunteer co-ordinator), Clare Hegarty (Big Health Check nutritionist) and John O'Doherty (volunteer). (BHP2005AQ01)
The Big Health Check team - Bronagh Cooper (event organiser), Leeane Monk (event co-ordinator), Una Hume (volunteer co-ordinator), Clare Hegarty (Big Health Check nutritionist) and John O'Doherty (volunteer). (BHP2005AQ01)
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Leeann Monk and her team are on a mission to improve the health of the people of Derry.

‘The Big Health Check’ will take place in Ebrington Square next Saturday. The event takes a proactive approach to health and the tagline for the showpiece is ‘Move it, check it, chill it!’

The Mayor, Alderman Maurice Devenney pictured launching the 'Big Health Check' which will be held at Cunningham Square, Ebrington on Saturday 26th of May by The Old Library Trust (Healthy Living Centre). Included are, from left, Aideen McGinley, ILEX, Daniel Quigley (front), Jim Roddy, City Centre Initiative, Alec Given, Siobhan Sweeney, Public Health Agency, George McGowan, Seamus Heaney, Old Library Trust, and Leeann Monk, programme planner. INLS2012-155KM

The Mayor, Alderman Maurice Devenney pictured launching the 'Big Health Check' which will be held at Cunningham Square, Ebrington on Saturday 26th of May by The Old Library Trust (Healthy Living Centre). Included are, from left, Aideen McGinley, ILEX, Daniel Quigley (front), Jim Roddy, City Centre Initiative, Alec Given, Siobhan Sweeney, Public Health Agency, George McGowan, Seamus Heaney, Old Library Trust, and Leeann Monk, programme planner. INLS2012-155KM

“We have so much happening next week; there’s something for everyone,” said event co-ordinator Leeann.

‘The Big Health Check’ is organised by the Old Library Trust in Creggan and is in partnership with the Public Health Agency, Derry City Council and Ilex.

In the past, Leeann and her team have organised health checks in the Creggan area and as a result many local people were able to reduce their blood pressure, lose weight and attain a healthier lifestyle.

“Events such as the ‘Big Health Check’ are vitally important to the health of any community.

“If by hosting such an event we are able to help someone detect something about their health then it has been a success.

“We have held smaller scale health check events in Creggan and some of the local people who attended were able to improve their health.

“Next week’s event is all about early intervention. It’s about helping people to improve and understand not only their physical health but also their mental health too.”

Una Hume is volunteer co-ordinator for the ‘Big Health Check’ and she said that whilst the whole point of the event is to raise health awareness she wants people to come along and have a good time.

“There are so many fun events happening.

“We have players from Derry City Football Club and City of Derry rugby club taking part in a cook off. It’ll be a bit like ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’. The public will then taste both dishes and decide who the winner is; it should be great fun.”

The showpiece of the ‘Big Health Check’ will be the attempt to break the Guinness record for the largest outdoor exercise class.

Una said that the team are looking to surpass the current record of 371 and that people of all ages can take part.

“I really want to stress that the outdoor exercise class is not going to be tough to do.

“You don’t have to be fit to take part and we need as many individuals and groups to take part.

“It’s an opportunity for Derry to be entered into the record books so if anyone wants to register their interest they should get in contact with us at the Healthy Living Centre in Creggan.”

Local anxiety awareness charity CALMS and Aware Defeat Depression will be represented at next week’s event as will four local GPs who will answer any health question.

‘Big Health Check’ nutritionist Clare Hegarty is organising an event called ‘Super Fat vs. Super Balanced’ which is essentially a local take on the television show ‘Super Fat vs. Super Thin’.

Other showpiece events include learning how to cook fast food on a budget with celebrity chef Joe Shannon and local sports clubs will be on hand to offer newcomers membership and inductions.

“All of Derry’s main sports clubs will be there,” said organiser Bronagh Cooper. “We wanted the clubs to come along because we wanted the people of Derry to experience the likes of fencing, paddling and all other kinds of physical activity,” she said.

For further information on the ‘Big Health Check’ or to register for the Guinness world record attempt contact Leeann, Una, Clare or Bronagh on 028 7137 3870.