Over 850 complete Warm, Well and Connected project in Derry

Over 850 people in Derry have taken part in the Warm, Well and Connected Project which was launched by the Healthy Living Centre Alliance to help people through the latest lockdown.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 10:55 am

At the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum (BBHF), people of all ages have been joining in a variety of classes which has included online bootcamps, running groups, learning how to shop for less with Transform your Trolley and the Carers’ collective. There were free Connect Well online workshops on how to sleep better, learn more about nature or relaxation classes. There was also a specific SAD (Seasonal Adjustment Disorder) programme for people struggling with winter and lockdown.

Crossing the digital divide, the team at BBHF, helped over 400 older people access workshops online, from Social Cafes, to chronic pain classes, nutrition and cooking advice to shopping on a budget. Almost 250 young people have taken part in workshops including the Healthy Promotion Families project, which involved the whole household in fun activities.

Aileen McGuinness, General Manager of BBHF said: “We had a huge response from people of all ages to the online programmes we provided and are delighted at the numbers taking part and the positive feedback we have received. The online programmes delivered at the BBHF were designed to help people cope better, and to provide connections and support in our community The pandemic has had a huge effect on people’s emotional and physical health so addressing loneliness, isolation and emotional wellbeing are key focuses of this support,” added Aileen.

2018: Aileen McGuinness, Seamus Ward and Susan Harkin, from the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum.

Over 220 online activities were created as part of the Warm, Well and Connected Project which was rolled out in each of the 29 Healthy Living Centres across Northern Ireland. To date, the project has exceeded the 18,000 target of participants across the North.

Tony Doherty, Alliance Regional Co-ordinator said: “The lockdown has been a long and difficult stretch for everyone, especially older people, carers, children and young people and people living in poverty. Hundreds of families have been bereaved and have buried their loved ones often without neighbours and friends surrounding them. And, while we’ve had good news in relation to vaccines, there is still some way to go until we see clear light at the end of the tunnel. This is where we come in. Through our healthy living network, working with a large team of managers and staff, we created a diverse and exciting series of 220 online activities. There is something for everyone.”

Online programmes include, fitness plans on recovering from Covid, Falls Prevention workshops, practical parenting tips and coping mechanisms for home-working and home-schooling. Participants can enrol online in any class in any area - log on to www.hlcalliance.org. For info email:[email protected]

Tony Doherty.