For a city of its size, Derry, it has often been said, punches way above its weight. The recent success of the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum in the National Lottery Good Causes Awards is yet another example of how we in this city can compete against bigger and better resourced projects in England, Scotland and Wales.
The award is not just important to the Health Forum and the city. It is important because it underpins and clearly demonstrates that the social model of health improvement can and does work. Our health inequalities are among the worst in the north. Our population is beset by ‘modern’ diseases such as obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. Cancer, coronary heart disease and respiratory diseases negatively impact on our health and well-being and take a heavy toll on individuals, families and communities.
Because of this, funding organisations such as the National Lottery, supported by the Health Service, invest money in innovative ways in which better health can be achieved among the population. The social model of health is about people and communities being facilitated to take more control over their lives and lifestyles in order to achieve better health.
For senior citizens especially, the Health Forum has proven that it is never too late!
The Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum’s approach to health improvement has been featured many times in this paper over the years. They have now achieved greater and wider recognition for their endeavours as the Best Health Project. Well done to all!